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What do tools do i need to help me prepare for college?

I am a high school senior who is getting ready to enter her freshman year of college, my name is Kailey Lasley and i am 18 years old college student high-school college-advice

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Paul’s Answer

Congratulations on taking this important step towards your future! Now, as far as your question is concerned, I'm assuming that when you say "tools" you're not talking about physical items that you need to bring along with you. I'm going to assume you referring to those particular attributes or skills that you need to have in order to get the most out of your college experience. So in my opinion you need the following:

Great Study Habits: You are an adult now. Your parents will not be around to tell you when it's time to study or start your projects so you will need to be responsible enough to know when it's time to focus. I recommend designating a specific time of the day that is allotted for studying so it becomes a habit.

Organization: You will be trying to juggle classes, homework, projects, clubs and other social events. It's going to be important to be well organized so you don't miss deadlines. I recommend using your cell phone to set-up reminders for due dates.

Open Mind: You're going to meet a lot of people from all walks of life and their opinions and beliefs might not exactly align with yours. That doesn't mean you can't be friends with these individuals but in order to get to know them and expand your social circle and network, you will need to accept them for who they are and vice versa.

Inner Circle: If you surround yourself with like minded people who are focused on getting good grades and bettering themselves, some of that will rub off on you which will help you succeed.

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Linda’s Answer

My suggestions would probably be considered "qualities" rather than "tools." So, in addition to the recommendations you've already been offered, prepare to be flexible and curious. Flexibility, because academics and college life will have unexpected twists and turns. It won't necessarily go as you may have planned. So you must be prepared to be flexible to accommodate to the changes in your life. Cultivate your curiosity by involving yourself in activities and engaging yourself with ideas to which you had not previously been exposed. It's fun.
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Chris’s Answer

Hi Kailey!

That's a great question. I would make sure you have good organization tools for when you head off to college:

  1. Calendar - get used to putting things in your calendar, especially assignment due dates after you get a syllabus. Set reminders for a week or so out and then about two days out so you don't forget. This can be a life saver!
  2. Reminders - find a good reminder app on your phone. iPhone actually has a pretty good one. This will allow you to quickly jot down things you need to do that day.
  3. Maps - make sure you have your maps app dialed in. This will save you if you're navigating a larger campus.
  4. Note taking - everyone takes notes different but find a way that works for you. Focus on what helps you retain the most information. I started college by taking notes on my laptop but switched to notebooks because I wasn't retaining information from typing.

Other than that, I would just get yourself ready to read A LOT. If you have some time before you start school, get in a rhythm of reading on a daily basis. If you're feeling good with that, read two books at a time - one in the AM and one in the PM. This will help get you ready for the reading workload.

Enjoy college!

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Matthew’s Answer

Some of the tools that helped me greatly are:

1) A calendar with reminders such as Google Calendar for long-term semester planning and a week-to-week and day-to-day schedule planner to ensure my workload is spread out evenly over the day and week to accommodate breaks, free time, friends, and kick out last-minutes cramming.

2) A study group that meets on a weekly basis to review what is learned in class and to expand on ideas I may have not seen before and see them in a new light. This also ensures I do the work as it shows if I have and I could get barred from future meetings if I rely on everyone else carrying my weight.

3) An emergency plan in case of life events, I have Webmail on my phone to ensure if something happens when I'm not home, I can alert my professors about my situation. In the event I need to drop the class, I have "fillers" for each semester that allow me to retake classes.

4) A mature and rational attitude helps greatly. In college, a lot of uncomfortable topics are discussed, especially in social sciences. By going in with a mindset to analyze a situation and not allow emotion to take over, classes become a lot easier as I focus on trying to solve uncomforatble topics instead of hiding in a hole and avoiding them. Everyone is here to learn and become rational thinkers, and respecting other peoples' opinions and being able to discuss why they think that way is a valuable tool for everyday and academic life.
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