You’ve started a journey that will impact the rest of your life. With all the excitement of being in your new home away from home as well as the personal freedom you’re now given, there’s a lot to consider and a lot to take in. There are choices you’ll make and a lot of things to remember when you enter this new chapter of life. Here are 7 guidelines that will help your transition from high school to college.
1. It’s OK to to be unsure of your career path.
Coming from a first-year student who has jumped between wanting to study law, dentistry, music, journalism, I even wondered if my true calling was to be a stay at home mom (just kidding…kind of), it is every bit of OK to not know which path is for you. As you take classes and get involved, you will sooner or later be revealed to your passions and it will all click at one point or another. It is important to know that you should follow your passion and not a pay check. Don’t go for the major that will make you the big bucks or give you the Lamborghini that you’ve always dreamed of. Find your strengths, weaknesses, and interests and apply it to the real world.
2. Freshman 15 is real.
If you’re moving to a big college town, you can imagine all the great eateries that surround you. You want to try them all, but you have to keep the thought of freshman 15 in the back of your head. It’s real, but it can also be prevented! It will happen if you’re not careful. With the stress of school and keeping busy, and the fact that no college student wants to cook for themselves, you need to limit the amount of junk that you eat and make the gym part of your life.
3. Get involved.
You might make a few acquaintances in your classes, but overall you will not make friends by just going straight to school and going home. You’re in college to learn and to prepare for your future. You are supposed to have fun and meet new people too! Put yourself out there, nothing good ever came from within the comfort zone. Find clubs pertaining to your hobbies or your major, join a fraternity/sorority, volunteer at church or an animal shelter, do something! You’re here on purpose for a purpose. Getting involved is one of the best ways to ease your transition from high school to college.
4. Don’t forget to call home every once and a while.
It’s easy to get caught up in your new life and forget some of the important things like going to class. Don’t forget where you came from and the people who helped shape you into the young man/woman you are today. Your family is at home cheering you on and rooting for your success. They love you more than you know and miss you. Call them, keep them up to date on what’s happening in your life. It means more to them than you’ll ever know.
There is no need to rush into finding your soulmate. Dating your freshman year may not be the best idea, at least not your first semester. You don’t always know someone as well as you thought you did. You’re still in the process of finding yourself and learning more about you than ever before. Get right with yourself before committing to someone else too. You’ll experience heartbreaks and hardships in dating, but guard your heart and don’t settle. Someone special will come your direction when it’s meant to happen!
6. Go to class.
Those 8 a.m.’s are harder to get to as much as they are to get through. We’ve all considered skipping and thought “How much could I possibly miss?” If you skip once, it will be very easy for your mind to think it’s okay and before you realize it will become a routine. You’ll fall behind and your grades will slip. You’re paying thousands of dollars a semester, might as well get your moneys worth!
7. Use your resources
No one is going to think you’re stupid if you go to office hours. No one is going to think you’re weak if they see you standing outside the wellness center. These resources are here for a reason, and many people use them. You’re in college and you will need help at one point or another. Take advantage of what is available to you to better your transition from high school to college.