1) Some experiences will be familiar, and some will be different. Reflect on your experience: what's going well, what are you proud of, and what you need more of. This is a quick way to assess things for yourself honestly.
2) Don't assume anything. Ask lot's of questions to ensure you understand expectations. again while some things will be familiar, some will also be different. This can include asking your professor for clarity on an assignment; confirming roles and responsibilities with your project team; informing your professor when you will be late or absent from class; etc. Also, continue to ask yourself and others how your degree will serve you. Not because you have a degree, means you'll automatically find a or the job you wanted.
3) Professors may not have the same amount of time in college as they did for you in lower/middle/high-school. They expect that you will plan accordingly so you can manage your work load. Similar to before, read the class syllabus in detail to ensure you understand expectations for each class. Find out how to get extra credit. If possible connect with the professor often to ask questions you have. While you can share your experience with your family/parents, in in college, your professor will only speak with you about your course-work.
4) Balance (school and personal) your experiences. Build your network by participating in developmental on/off-campus committees or extra-curricular activities. Examples of this include Professional Internships or Study Abroad. While there are plenty of opportunities to network/socialize, remember to maintain a high/healthy GPA
5) Have FUN....this time will go by much faster than you realize.
suwah recommends the following next steps:
Just be open to new experiences. College life isn't like high school and family. You will meet people from all over and learn about their background/life/culture. Their point of reference is going to be different and you can both learn so much. Know that you will struggle at times and it will be up to you to find the help you need, whether from professors, tutoring or classmates. Look into where you can find that help before you go. The professors will not hold your hand but they will help you if you ask, usually. If you haven't yet, visit you school of choice and get familiar with the area. Being familiar with the layout of the school and the surrounding area will help with feeling comfortable when you arrive to start school.