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What is the hardest part about transitioning from a high school student to a first year college student?

I am currently a senior and plan on going to Pennsylvania for College. I don't really know what to expect when I get there. I don't have any older siblings who know what it's like and times have changed since my mom went to school. I just want a little help and guidance on how to make the transition smoother. #professor #student

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Michael’s Answer

Introduce yourself to everyone you meet. Try to find a club or group on campus, because going to college is really disorienting and you will need other people to center you. Always eat at the same place same time and see who else is there, and ask or just sit with them. Put up something on a bulletin board, saying "new student needs someone to help orient me", or look into what services the university has for new students. See if there are any game centers on campus, or music clubs. Ask other peoples advice about how they managed the first year. Walk a lot so you know where you are, where all the buildings are, where the stores are. Ask your teachers what they think will help you feel more at home on campus. See if there is a counseling program and sooner rather than later get someone to talk to. Just don't hide, or be embarrassed if you feel alone, or lost. Everyone really does unless they go to school with a good friend.
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Michael’s Answer

Keep your priorities straight. You are looking to see who you might want to be in the future. Take different classes and be the best you can be. The money you are spending (or your parents) will just be a waste if you fritter it away. Keep a big calendar you can write on, and note cards and spiral binders one for each class. Scan all reading material, you don't have to initially know it all but become familiar with each weeks work. Plot out your days so you have some down time, but really, find other hard workers and get into a study group. This is your one big chance, tell yourself you can succeed, because you must!!
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Wael’s Answer

You have to pace yourself. No one is going to tell you what you should be doing. So, always remember that you are in college to have an education and graduate with the best possible academic standing.

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Brandi’s Answer

I agree with Wael. The biggest adjustment is the freedom. There will be no one to tell you to do your homework or to go to class. There will be no one to make you study for that big exam or not to party too much. It is all up to you to be invested in your education.


I would advise discipline. Make school your main priority and you will be fine. Make friends and have fun, but train yourself to put that on the backburner when necessary.


Good luck!

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Keith’s Answer

You will need to be your own parent. There will be no one there to say do this, do that. Time management will be essential as you will be given plenty of time to complete tasks but, if you fail to manage your time wisely, the tasks will get stacked up and become overwhelming.

In college, I had the following system. Start the week by writing down all the tasks that needed completed. For example, it may say, "read chapter three in health book, write 2 pages of the 5 pages paper in English, study for the Chemistry quiz." As I got each done, I would cross it off the list as to feel a sense of accomplishment. It is not what you do sometimes that matters, it is what you do regularly. If I completed all my work for the week, I would reward myself with something fun on the weekend. If I did not complete all the work, I would use my weekend to complete it. This became a reward/punishment system that was highly effective. It pushed me to get things done so I could enjoy the weekend AND when I didn't get them done and I worked on the weekend, it reminded me that I was not managing the week well. In addition, it made the weekends that I earned have more value because they were not as common (i.e., I didn't get every weekend), so I enjoyed those weekends even more. This system may or may not work for you but you have to have a way to discipline yourself with both reward and punishments. In the end, you must find balance. Too many students work really hard and get burned out and leave school; too many others play too much and don't pass classes and leave school. Seek balance and you will go far.
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