10 Tips to Help Students Transition to College

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10 Tips to Help Students Transition to College


Enrolling in college, whether in the next town over or in a different state, unlocks a world full of opportunities. From building new friendships to earning practical real-world knowledge, college is an exciting adventure that you probably cannot wait to begin. But adjusting to a new academic environment, as well as navigating a fresh social landscape, can seem like a daunting task. With the right mindset and preparation, however, the transition from high school to college can become a smoother experience.

Are you a high school senior feeling apprehensive about leaving for college? Read on to discover the top ten tips to help students transition to college.

1) Take Time to Adjust to Your Surroundings

The minute you step onto campus, you essentially enter a brand-new world. For the first time in your young life, you have a fresh start without your friends, family, and support network back home. Needless to say, the start of your college journey is a mixture of overwhelming and exciting feelings. Take ample time to settle into your dorm, connect with your roommates, and start building relationships with your professors.

But do not assume you need to dive right in immediately. On the contrary, this first year is meant for you to adjust to your new routine, so you feel comfortable in a new setting.

2) Get Involved with the Campus Community

Joining clubs and organizations on campus is a terrific way to insert yourself into college life. More importantly, campus involvement proves a fantastic way to grow your friend circle and give yourself a sense of purpose.

Also, remember to attend on-campus events to meet new people a earn a different sense of college life. By joining clubs and attending events, you’re making memorable moments, meeting new people, as well as having fun with a club or events that ignite your passions.

3) Participate in Enriching Activities

Extracurricular activities in college are much different than in high school. Many students choose activities that coincide with their major, rather than joining a club that they enjoy. By taking part in various on-campus activities, you get a break from focusing on your major and schoolwork, in favor of some fun!

4) Take Care of Yourself

As soon as you enter college, you will quickly notice a whirlwind of changes. Stress levels, your diet, and your sleep schedule will drastically shift. The advanced workload in undergraduate courses, for example, can affect your sleep schedule. If you lose sleep and let stress overwhelm you, your grades will drop. This, in turn, can also affect the times you eat during the day.

Avoid the “freshman 15” by selecting some healthier options or only eating a plateful from your universities dining hall. Find ways to manage your stress, homework, and eating habits to take care of your mental and physical health.

5) Feelings of Homesick are Normal

Especially if you are attending college in a different state, it is normal to feel homesick! Moving out into your dorm is a big life change and comes with a mix of emotions. But this is the time in your life when you grow into an independent adult. If you need help coping with homesickness, talk to your Residential Assistant (RA).

Your assigned RA will plan fun activities and games to keep students busy and engaged with the people who live on the same floor. It is completely normal to feel homesick, but by getting involved in clubs and hosted events, getting to know other students, or talking with your RA, this feeling will pass.

6) Leverage On-Campus Resources

On-campus resources are beneficial to locate when assimilating yourself into college life. For example, many colleges host a “Welcome Week” or “First Fifty Days” to help first-year students feel more at home. Learning resources are a wonderful place to have a tutor help you with complicated material from your courses.

Additionally, universities offer career counseling, academic success coaching, disability services, and physical and mental health services for the campus community. Reach out to the on-campus resources that will provide you with the right success.

7) Do Not Overlook Mental Health

While transitioning to college can impact your mental health, you do not need to struggle in silence. For students having a harder time adjusting than most, make an appointment with mental health services for professional help adjusting to college life.

8) Stay Organized

It doesn’t matter if you are taking 4, 5, or 6 classes throughout the semester, staying organized is the key to keeping your stress levels low and passing your classes. Invest in a planner or calendar at your school’s bookstore to track important deadlines, homework assignments, and exam dates. Staying organized is crucial to avoid any last-minute stress, preventing any procrastination during crunch time.

9) Attend All Your Classes

This tip might seem obvious, but make sure to attend every class during both semesters. Being introduced to new academic material can cause you to struggle at first. Talk to your professor to get additional help during office hours or after class. There is no shame to ask for help no matter what type of help you need – even if you were a star student in high school.

Also, you might feel the need to skip class to sleep in a bit more or just do not want to go, but do not allow yourself to fall down this wormhole! It is a waste of your money and depending on your professor, your grades will slip. Establish a healthy routine for yourself by attending all your classes.

10) Leave Time Aside to Decompress

There is a lot going on while in college. It is important to take some time for yourself to decompress and relax. Stay in and watch Netflix instead of going out with friends; you deserve some time to yourself. Although, try to get all your assignments out of the way before taking some necessary time. Leaving time aside to decompress prevents any additional stress on yourself.

Enjoy a Smooth & Easy Transition into College!

With only a couple of months left of high school, the first day of college will arrive before you realize it! Follow these ten tips for a smooth transition to living on your own. Take the time to adjust to your surroundings, get involved on campus, and attend all your classes. Remember, college is the perfect time to grow, learn, and have fun as a young adult! Good luck in college!