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What should I expect for college?

I can't wait to graduate this year and go to college! #career-path

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Zach’s Answer

Hey Marissa! What an exciting time for you. Academically, college offers a lot of freedom in your schedule. You will be able to pick what classes you want to attend and when, and you will ultimately be able to pursue the course of study that most interests you. Socially, you will get a fresh start to making new friends which can be daunting, but there will be a wide variety of clubs and organizations to join which can be a great start for meeting new people. The most important thing you should expect and pursue is self discovery. Find out what motivates you to work hard, how you can be a good friend, what makes you unique, and how you can positively influence the world!

There are challenges that can be difficult or scary, but with each challenge you overcome, you grow and develop yourself into a competent adult that will contribute to society. Here are a two that I endured:
- Loneliness: it may seem counterintuitive because you are surrounded by a bunch of students your age, but it can be intimidating to reach out to strangers. My recommendation is to get out of your comfort zone and put yourself out there. As long as you are earnest and have a genuine interest in getting to know someone, people will reciprocate.
- Loss of Academic Focus: the problem is simple, and you have probably experienced it in high school, but maintaining focus for 4-years can be exhausting. My recommendation is to first, find a major that really interests you. This will get you through the all-nighters and demanding assignments. Second, apply yourself early on. There will be plenty of opportunities to party throughout your 4 years, but the study habits you build in the first semester will carry you through. Not to mention you don't want to be fighting an uphill battle (GPA wise) when your senior year arrives. Third, attend your professor's office hours. If you are struggling in a class, it goes a long way with your professor when you show them that you care about the subject they are teaching and that you are willing to put in the extra time to learn it. This attitude will help you develop personal relationships with your instructors which can blossom into mentorship or at least a good letter of recommendation when you apply for jobs/programs. Lastly, don't skip class. College is expensive. If you calculate how much you are paying per class you will be much less likely to skip.

I hope that helps. Enjoy college, it will be unforgettable!
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Yasemin’s Answer

Hi Marissa! Like you I also couldn't wait for college because it's truly a great and rewarding experience. I've met many close friends that I keep in touch with, got to take many great classes and really learn how to grow and be an independent person. I think in college experiences are different for many as everyone can have different interests, however some things are similar in expectations. First, expect to be independent because although professors are helpful with office hours and are open to help students, you are expected to keep on top of the workload. Usually you will get a syllabus at the beginning of the semester for each class and that will outline the important dates for exams, assignments and other materials like presentations, so definitely get a planner and mark your calendar because that will help in keeping organized. You can also expect to meet new friends through classes especially when grouped into a project or studying and helping each other out; I've met some of my close friends through my hard science classes like chemistry. If you need to find a part time job, usually you can apply on campus because there are many great availabilities for students and this can also ease the workload where you won't have to commute between classes to a different area to work. I would also arrive early on campus because parking and traffic can be very busy even if you live close; personally I lived very close to my campus so would ride share with my parents and not have to deal with parking but even with that I would still face traffic jams so arriving early especially on exam dates are crucial. As a last note, mostly all professors will be very strict about exams, so be prepared to bring your phone to silent, put it in your bag and put your bag away from you by the wall in the lecture halls. Usually your professor will tell you this, but it's always good to know beforehand; and with phones some professors are okay with it but most are not and are very strict and can even penalize you grade wise for using your phone, so be wary of that!

I hope this has helped and I wish you the best experience in college!
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Dakayla’s Answer

Hello Marissa. When you go off to college. You will see what it is like to be independent. You can expect to feel homesick, however you may not. It is something that many college students face, but it will not last forever and may go away a few days after adjusting. You can expect to meet a lot of new people. You can also expect to hear about a lot of different events taking place on campus.
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Luis’s Answer

Hi!

I think one of the biggest expecations when going into college - is the high call for independence. As contrary to high school, professors really expect you to keep up with your work, deadlines, and will hardly remind you of when things are due.
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Michael’s Answer

Hi,

College is so much fun. You learn, make new friends, meet new people from all over the country and world.

Enjoy yourself. Learn new things and see what interests you as a career.
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Leahanne’s Answer

You should expect to get out of college whatever you put into it, so have a plan. What things are you interested in learning about? What clubs and extra curriculars do you want to participate in? I have my students visualize what they expect an average day at college to look like. Now, what will you do to make that happen for yourself? Develop a plan to get the results you want to achieve - be they academic, social, what have you. Same thing for weekends. Visualize what you want a typical weekend to look like, then create your plan to make that happen for yourself. Set yourself up for many small successes daily and weekly. For example, does your plan include attending class? How will you hold yourself accountable for making that happen?
The more active you are, the more confident you will become, the more you'll have small successes; the less homesick or depressed you will be. Have a plan and you'll do great!
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