You’ll go into your first year of college with a lot of feelings – excitement, nervousness, hope, fear. College is a big life transition and there will be a lot of changes from high school. To help with that transition, here are some things that you can expect from your first year of college so you’ll be prepared.
There will be a lot of required reading…and it is REQUIRED.
In high school, when your teacher assigned reading you may have thought that meant you didn’t have homework. Reading the assigned material in college allows you to effectively participate in class, often a large contribution to your final grade, and helps you better understand the information professor lectures about in class. Last but not least, you are paying to enroll in your classes, so don’t waste your (parent’s) money!
Studying is required and it takes time.
Studying may not have been your top priority in high school, but it is going to be a big part of your college life. And that doesn’t mean 15 minutes of cramming before the test. Establish a healthy pattern early on, and be sure to include some or all of these elements to help you succeed.
You don’t have to declare your major right away.
Though many students enter college with a decided upon major, few leave with the same career goal in mind. More than 50% of students change their major at least once, many changing three times before graduation. So take the time to explore different subjects and don’t be afraid to change your passion and alter your career track.
There are lots of social activities to help you meet new people and experience new ideas.
Being placed in an entirely new environment where you might not know anyone can be a scary situation. Don’t worry, you certainly aren’t alone, and there is a nearly endless list of possible opportunities. Meet new people at your dorm, classes, clubs, sports, the gym, fraternities and sororities.
You are going to be in charge of your own destiny.
You’ve been dreaming about this, right? Freedom! You are finally on your own! Of course, your family and friends are just a text message away, but they won’t be there anymore to make sure you are keeping up with your responsibilities. It’s now up to you to wake up in the morning, go to class, do your reading, study for tests, and, eventually, graduate.
Be prepared to be overwhelmed, but in a good way.
New people, new places, new experiences. It can all certainly feel overwhelming at times, but that is just part of the growth college is designed to help you experience. By embracing these changes and unfamiliarities, you will be much more prepared for the world that awaits you after graduation.