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What are some good college prep strategies?

What are some things you have done or wish you had done to prepare for college?

#college #prep

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Ken’s Answer

From my many years of Human Resources experience and my experiences doing college recruiting, here are very effective strategies that applied to enhance your chances for success in your education/career journey. It all starts with getting to know yourself better to know how your personality traits relate to various careers.


Getting to know yourself and how your personality traits relate to people involved in various career opportunities is very important in your decision making process. During my many years in Human Resources and College Recruiting, I ran across too many students who had skipped this very important step and ended up in a job situation which for which they were not well suited. Selecting a career area is like buying a pair of shoes. First you have to be properly fitted for the correct size, and then you need to try on and walk in the various shoe options to determine which is fits the best and is most comfortable for you to wear. Following are some important steps which I developed during my career which have been helpful to many .

Ken recommends the following next steps:

The first step is to take an interest and aptitude test and have it interpreted by your school counselor to see if you share the personality traits necessary to enter the field. You might want to do this again upon entry into college, as the interpretation might differ slightly due to the course offering of the school. However, do not wait until entering college, as the information from the test will help to determine the courses that you take in high school. Too many students, due to poor planning, end up paying for courses in college which they could have taken for free in high school.
Next, when you have the results of the testing, talk to the person at your high school and college who tracks and works with graduates to arrange to talk to, visit, and possibly shadow people doing what you think that you might want to do, so that you can get know what they are doing and how they got there. Here are some tips: ## http://www.wikihow.com/Network ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/nonawkward-ways-to-start-and-end-networking-conversations ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/4-questions-to-ask-your-network-besides-can-you-get-me-a-job?ref=carousel-slide-1 ##
Locate and attend meetings of professional associations to which people who are doing what you think that you want to do belong, so that you can get their advice. These associations may offer or know of intern, coop, shadowing, and scholarship opportunities. These associations are the means whereby the professionals keep abreast of their career area following college and advance in their career. You can locate them by asking your school academic advisor, favorite teachers, and the reference librarian at your local library. Here are some tips: ## https://www.careeronestop.org/BusinessCenter/Toolkit/find-professional-associations.aspx?&frd=true ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/9-tips-for-navigating-your-first-networking-event ##
It is very important to express your appreciation to those who help you along the way to be able to continue to receive helpful information and to create important networking contacts along the way. Here are some good tips: ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/the-informational-interview-thank-you-note-smart-people-know-to-send?ref=recently-published-2 ## ## https://www.themuse.com/advice/3-tips-for-writing-a-thank-you-note-thatll-make-you-look-like-the-best-candidate-alive?bsft_eid=7e230cba-a92f-4ec7-8ca3-2f50c8fc9c3c&bsft_pid=d08b95c2-bc8f-4eae-8618-d0826841a284&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=daily_20171020&utm_source=blueshift&utm_content=daily_20171020&bsft_clkid=edfe52ae-9e40-4d90-8e6a-e0bb76116570&bsft_uid=54658fa1-0090-41fd-b88c-20a86c513a6c&bsft_mid=214115cb-cca2-4aec-aa86-92a31d371185&bsft_pp=2 ##
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Lynette’s Answer

Going off to college is a big milestone and a huge life change for most people. It can be a stressful, challenging transition. Preparing yourself ahead of time is a smart move! Luckily, in today’s digital age, it is much easier to get prepared, than ever before.


Here are a few things I wish I had done:

1.     Familiarize yourself with campus: If possible, tour the campus. Learn where your dorm room is, what your dining options are, where your classes are located. Will you catch a bus? Will you have a bike? Will you walk? How far, and what will the weather be like? Figuring out logistics ahead of time will greatly ease your stress on the first couple days at college.

2.     Prepare for your new living situation: If you have the opportunity, take a tour of your dorm room and accommodations, ahead of time.  Most colleges furnish a bed, desk, and closet, and there isn’t room for much else. But, most people bring decorations and desk accessories, to personalize their space. A small coffee pot or microwave might be nice to have. If you can’t tour the dorms, check online for pictures and information about the rooms. You may have a roommate for the first time, which can be an adjustment. Can you meet each other, ahead of time? Email or chat? She may not share the same sleep patterns as you, or the same taste in music. Noise-reducing headphones or ear plugs can ease your experience. Make a packing list of the items you’ll need to feel comfortable and at home in your dorm room.

3.     Solidify connections with home: Leaving your friends and family can be stressful, so spend some quality time with those you’ll miss most. Exchange new address and contact information, so you can stay in touch. Agree on a time, maybe once a week, to reconnect with a family member, or close friend. Social media, Skype and Facetime are wonderful technologies that make staying in touch easier, these days.

4.     Get social, and start making new friends: Social Media Groups are a great way to connect with current students, ask questions, and meet other inbound students, so you can start making friends before you get there. Look for groups who share your interests, and join up with like-minded people. You may even discover people from your hometown who will be attending the same college. Connect with them, so you have a ready-made support system when you get there. Even if you weren’t close friends in high school, those familiar faces will be a welcome sight, during your first couple of weeks at college.


Even though transitions like going off to college can be stressful, if you prepare yourself, and use your support systems, you can enjoy every moment! It is natural to feel homesick, at first, so plan ahead for that, and know that you are not alone. Going off to college can be such a fun, exciting time. Good luck!

Lynette recommends the following next steps:

This article offers more great ideas on how to prepare yourself for college: https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/slideshows/10-ways-to-prepare-for-your-freshman-year-of-college
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