6 answers

What is the hardest part of transitioning from high school to college? How do I help myself in that transition?

Asked Port Orange, Florida

6 answers

Christa’s Answer

Updated

Brenna,

Great question! For me, the hardest part was discipline. In high school, you have rules, a schedule, parents/guardians and even teachers to make sure that you are attending classes and doing homework. When going to college, you will gain a new freedom. There will be no one to hold you accountable to attending class or finishing papers. I have seen many friends and even myself fall into trouble with this. My words of advice to you are this:

  1. Set your priorities now. Have goals of where you want to be after college and how you are going to get there. Map out the details. If you set goals (big and small), you have something to work towards and this will help you to hold yourself accountable to what YOU want.
  2. Practice creating a schedule for you and following it. Practice turning down distractions (example: letting friends know that you will catch up with them once you have your English paper completed, even though it may not be due until next week). This will help you to keep on top of your priorities and allow you to focus on the task you have at hand to be successful.

You will be great! Good Luck!

Christa recommends the following next steps:

  • Set your priorities now. Have goals of where you want to be after college and how you are going to get there. Map out the details. If you set goals (big and small), you have something to work towards and this will help you to hold yourself accountable to what YOU want.
  • Practice creating a schedule for you and following it. Practice turning down distractions (example: letting friends know that you will catch up with them once you have your English paper completed, even though it may not be due until next week). This will help you to keep on top of your priorities and allow you to focus on the task you have at hand to be successful.
Updated
Thank you Christa, I never thought of that as an aspect of college!

Niket’s Answer

Updated

The hardest part is time management. The key part in college is learning to schedule not just your classes, but since there is no teacher/parent to monitor you once you leave your class you have to schedule time for your homework, pre-exam prep and friends/family. Which does help you become more independent and make sure you don't become a student that waits till last minute or forgets to do assignments on time. Unlike school if you miss an assignment even by 30 seconds professor won't allow you to submit.

Updated
Thank you! Did you make a more rigorous planning technique for college as compared to high school? Like a bigger planner or something?

Niket’s Answer

Updated

Yes it is very important to make sure to not lose your focus. Just remember what you are going to college for it's to get a degree. Yes in between you will meet a lot of people and maybe fall in and out of love and have other things that might seem important at that moment, but in the end if you are spending all this money and time towards a goal your number 1 priority should be to give 100% to your classes. Additionally, it is not as easy as it seems because it means you might have to say no to hanging out with friends or sometimes miss family events. Lastly, just remember it is not easy for your parents to let you go from home and live alone remember they are also making a sqcrifice; but they know this is best for you and your future that's why they make that sacrifice, pass or fail you will always have their support.


As far as planning goes it is easy to plan

1. Make a schedule for classes 

2. Add time for studying

3. Schedule breaks between studying to debreif

4. make time for family/friends and other social events that you "need" to attend to

5. Give your self a break every now and then to do things that make you happy (twice a week at least) 

 6. Leave yourself time to sleep (very important)

The hardest part is sticking to the schedule. Yes priorities might change depending on the week/day but don't create bad habbits for example, leaving todays work for tomorrow (papers not due till next month I will work extra some other day to get it done). If you miss your work today tomorrows schedule needs to be adjusted to make up today's work. 


Don't forget to ask for help there are numerous resources and support system built for your success from family to councelors take advantage of them all take some weight off your shoulder. 

Good luck 

Ken’s Answer

Updated Cleveland, Ohio

There are two parts that are hard, but they can be overcome with proper planning and organization.

  • determining a proper career/major focus, which is based upon getting to know how you relate to various careers
  • balancing your time, so that you will be able to enjoy college life and succeed along your education/career journey.

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 ##
  • Here are some helpful tips on balancing life in college from students who have been successful ## https://www.unigo.com/in-college/college-experience/creating-a-workschool-balance-a-college-student-perspective ## ## http://www.mycollegesuccessstory.com/academic-success-tools/college-life-balance.html ## ## http://www.collegeconfidential.com/dean/000241/ ##
Updated
This is great advice, I wish that someone would have given me prior to heading to school. When I attended college my intention was to be a music teacher. I loved kids, and loved to sing, and was good at it. I wanted to share my loves and talent, blending them into a career that would give me joy! What I didn't know, is that I had zero aptitude for the theory of music. I struggled through 2 semesters with grades much lower than I was used to in college, before finally deciding to change my major. So this answer is perfect!! You may still have to switch, and that is still ok, lots of people do it, and that's how we end up with minor emphasis of study. :)

Jesse’s Answer

Updated

If you begin the prep work now, it's not so bad! Create a study routine, and stick to it. Studying is the hardest skill I had to incorporate when I made the transition. Commit yourself to giving each class your all and be invested in your classes now. But, begin early and believe in yourself!

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Thank you, Jesse! My time management is not too hot right now, it's definitely something I need to work on

Andrea’s Answer

Updated

Hi Brenna - There are so many new experiences in college, and many exciting ones. The biggest adjustment for me was being away from home, family and friends. My sisters and I were very close, so it was hard to no longer see them every day. However, we stayed connected with phone calls, messages and video chatting. It made our time together very important, so I value it more than ever today!! Good luck on your adventures.

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This is one of the big parts I am nervous about. I am very close with my family and I think it will be really hard not to be around them all of the time! Thank you, Andrea!
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One thing that you might consider is going to the local community college, as the costs are more reasonable, the classes are smaller, and they offer internship and coop programs that will allow you to earn and learn about the career area as you go along. Visit and talk to the director of alumni relations at you local community college to arrange to meet and talk to graduates who are working in your career area of interest to see what they are doing , how they got there, and what advice they have.