Hey, high schoolers! Are you ready for your freshman year of college?
Graduating from high school and getting into your most anticipated college or university is a huge transition.
Although it may seem similar, it’s a complete transformation. It is still a student life, but now you have to be accountable for every aspect of your college life.
Sounds stressful? It really isn’t!
If you pre-calculate and pre-plan for challenges that college life will put forward, you’ll be unbeatable.
From applying for your coveted University or college, preparing for admission exams and interviews, to learning time-management and organizational skills- it’s all chapters of the freshman’s life in college.
From our own experiences, we have some tips for your journey afoot:
1. Picking a Major
Before you start college hunting and applying for any college, you must pick a major you want to pursue your degree. Up until now, students have studied all the compulsory senior secondary educational subjects.
But for college, you’ll have to choose subjects wisely. For example, if you want to work towards computer programming, you’ll have to pick subjects like computer science, data science, software development, technology management, etc.
Therefore, first, pick the subject you are going to apply for. After that, you’ll hunt down the college/university that best suits your discipline. Student counseling in high school helps students find their passion and help them choose their college subjects.
2. Preparing for College Application
The next task down the road is applying for your dream college/university. The application process for different institutions is different.
Some institutes have a direct application process where students apply for their choice of subject and get recommended based on their high school performance.
While other institutes have elaborate systems, you’ll have to give an admission test-then you’ll be shortlisted for an interview; after that, they’ll select students based on overall performance.
That appears competitive. Isn’t it?
Well, it is indeed cut-throat. That’s why high school students start warming up for college before the application starts.
Some high schoolers even take tuition from university application prep tutors for ensuring a more significant chance over other competitors (students).
Get help by hiring tutors who are Straight-A students pursuing their major or teachers at Universities that you want to apply to. These are experienced and skilled teachers and teach from their own experiences.
3. Embellish Your Social Skills
Social skills or interpersonal skills are strengths of an exemplary student. One of the differences between a good student and a successful student is good communication skills.
For this reason, all educational institutions from primary to high education emphasize on development of social skills.
Communicating with peers and professors, conducting ideas, and leading project-social skills will profit you.
Working on your skills will help you form interviews for college to interview for jobs/internships.
4. Time-Management and Organizational Skills
Talking of skills, how can we forget about being disciplined?
College life gives students more personal freedom-which is not bad. But you shouldn’t get caught away with the idea of independence. It’s a crucial time for students both academically and personally.
College life focuses on testing students’ self-discipline, whether they can balance their academics and social life or not.
We recommend using time management tools/apps for saving and utilizing time sensibly.
Do not miss out on making memories with friends, enjoying and learning different skills, and balancing them with academics.
5. Finance Management and Working Part-time
A freshman has to encounter financial burdens as well. They have to manage everything by themselves, from college fees, housing expenses, food, and everyday expenses.
And needless to say that college is itself very expensive. However, there are plenty of options to help students with their finances.
You can opt for a student loan which you can pay in installments after you get a job. Another ideal option is a scholarship.
The government provides scholarships for their students – some government and private organizations aid students from their financial burden. Apart from that, students work part-time to overcome expenses.
Although working part-time can help financially and develop your communication and management skills further, it takes away a portion of time from academics and social life. Some colleges also help their students with finances.
So, research ideal options for you to manage your college finances.
6. Get Into Orientation
Orientation will introduce you to the college campus and faculty before college starts. Since you are a freshman, you are unfamiliar with the college environment.
You’ll get to know about where’s the library, where’s the auditorium, where to go when you need help, where’s college dormitory or other housing facilities, and more.
Be aware of college surroundings and environment. Many newcomers face bullying, ragging, and harassment in college.
Yes, it’s true! So, you should know where to go to seek help and what to do when you face something like this.
Research about your college on a deeper level. And ask questions to the college administration, orientation officer, and teachers about all your concerns, from academics to safety.
7. Living Arrangements
Many first-year students move out of their parents’ house after high school and choose to stay at a college dorm or a rental sharing apartment during college. It’s a significant change and challenge itself.
So, what have you planned on where you are staying? If you are staying with your parents, you’ll only need to figure out the transportation.
But if you decide to move out, check out dorm facilities at your college or look for other housing options.
Remember to opt for a safer and more financially stable option since limited resources exist.
Some Bonus Tips:
- Learn how to cook and try to eat healthy food rather than settling for junk/fast food.
- Learn to do taxes.
- Read more and develop your reading.
- Make connections in and out of college.
- Get involved in many activities like college fests, social work, sports, singing, dancing, etc.
- Make better teacher-student relationships. You’ll always learn from a good mentor.
- Lastly, make friends and have fun. Go on a yearly trip with your friends and explore new places.
These tips will set you up for a wonderful freshman year experience.
And one more thing, don’t forget to check the COVID-19 guidelines of your college before moving.