Students who enroll in college and university have to come across more challenges than ever during their education. Sometimes, those challenges become overwhelming and stressful and it’s hard to overcome them. Most of the time, students aren’t ready to face what awaits them because they get the wrong picture of what college is. Aside from being the next step in your education and personal development, it’s the first step into adulthood and mature decision making. With that in mind, we wrote an article about how to prepare for college, avoiding most of the stress and frustration by being warned about them.
It’s no secret that college is bigger of a sacrifice for some people than others. For some students, it may be close and still relatively affordable. On the other hand, students have to work hard to pay tuition and fees. Moreover, they at times have to travel large distances and separate from their family and friends. That implies many questions with one being more so important than the others. Whether or not the students are prepared to embark on the journey of a college education. It can lead to a 180-degree change in life, and not many people are ready for that.
Don’t worry, however. We wrote this article to help and encourage students to choose the right college path. With that in mind, here are tips on how to prepare for college.
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12 tips to prepare for college
Keep in mind that some tips exist as a wake-up call to students in high school who still didn’t start preparing for college life. Some students know what to study at the beginning of their high school education. With that knowledge, they pave their paths towards postsecondary education the best way they can.
If you’re after a more prestigious institution, it’s best to begin your preparations as early as possible. These 12 tips on how to prepare for college will help you.
1. Inform yourself about the college you want to attend
This one comes naturally and is almost always obvious. You can’t know whether some institution is the right for you if you don’t research on it. In the past, it would involve sending letters, traveling to visit the university or college and talk to other people who have attended or worked there.
With the rapid development of phones, internet, and technology in general, future students can learn everything about the college they want to attend through a few clicks to the official website, blogs, reviews, forums and more. There, students can learn about the brief history of the college, alumni, professors, subjects, majors and more.
2. Learn the college requirements
No college is easy to get in. Each one of them is equipped with requirements that let it keep its honor, rank, and position. With that in mind, it’s extremely important for students to learn what are the requirements of getting in.
This comes after research on the college. Some schools have more technical subjects and courses and will orientate their requirements of enrolling to be similar. Depending on what student wants to do in the future they will have requirements that are closer to their vision of their goals. Students should focus on the standard courses offered by the college such as math, science, literature and science. Then, students should pick a more specialized selection of subjects.
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3. Meet your counselor
At the beginning of high school, every student should meet their counselor who will guide them on their way to college admission. This person is a paramount asset in your high school education. They guide you through the ups and downs and support you in finding your driving force and passion you want to transfer into income on your career path.
When you start with your freshman year, the school counselor will get to know you, your hobbies, interests and guide you in finding what you want to do career-wise. When meeting them, it’d be best to make a sample of what plans you have, and what could you do in the future.
Don’t worry if your career plans change. You will be tested through a plethora of tests and learn different things through your high school education. However, it’s important to highlight changes in your interests to your counselor, so that they can help you find the right college to look for.
As you progress through the years in high school, your interests will become more refined and specialized as opposed to the beginning of the schooling when the idea of a perfect job was widespread and broad.
4. Create a four-year school plan
Above, we highlighted how important it is to work with your counselor to achieve the most realistic highs in your career expertise. The counselor will also be the person who will help you write a letter of recommendation when you’ll be applying to college. That is just the testament of their importance in your educational life.
That said, the counselor will encourage you to pick the subjects that are the closest to what you want to do. It’s of utmost importance to pass them with great grades while focusing on specific classes related to your degree. If your preferences change, don’t worry, the schedule and plan can be easily adjusted to fit your interests.
5. Participate in extracurricular activities
Extracurricular activities at school can be boring and time-consuming. However, they are important because colleges, in fact, love them. Students who participate in the school activities that don’t include going to the classes are greatly valued and appreciated by colleges and universities. Find the activities that suit your personality the best and won’t feel too boring. More importantly, pick an activity that would work the best with your career wishes. One of the best resorts students go to is the pre-college summer preparation.
There are many programs of the sort, including mathematics and programming schools, cooking preparations and painting, as well as various sport-related programs like golf, tennis, football, and others.
If you already participate in extra-curricular activities at school, it’s time to move to the next level. That is an internship. Internships not only make great benefits when applying to college, but they also teach us working habits, make us punctual and more responsible. Finally, they give an insight into our career paths and help decide what truly works for you.
The internship programs can be focused on any field you’d like. Mostly, students opt for programs they are interested in and closely related to the future college major. Internships not only teach students how to apply some obtained knowledge in classes, they possibly get a certificate and a lot of testimonials which are the testament of their professional background and successfully completed an internship.
If you choose a certain internship, but you’re still not sure about the career path that expects you, an internship can help you decide whether a certain discipline sits well with you, or on the other hand not. There are a lot of great internship benefits, it’s just important to find an option that you’ll be satisfied with.
7. Hone your writing skills
Writing is the ability to describe your surroundings, but also abstractions that don’t have an accompanying image. When applying for college, your writing skills are put to test, how the good judgment of yourself, your skills and results it is, convincing college interviews why you’re the right fit to enroll and much more.
Term papers in addition to that, if focused well, can help you develop your writing skills to a mature level suitable to apply to college. Accompanied by writing, you can also practice your researching skills. Practice writing small blogs, essays, stories and more. When communicating with someone, think about how you could put it in a writing form. Practice by providing you and your parents, caregivers or counselor the written information about your grades, extracurricular activities, internships and things you pictured.
At college, writing assignments are highly valued. That said, having an additional writing experience won’t hurt you.
8. Practice taking notes
College is in many ways different compared to high school education, mostly because no one will wait for you to take notes. Lectures are broader and more demanding, which means teachers have to cover a lot of the syllabus through a small amount of time. Sometimes, you’ll be forced to write as they speak, and your handwriting will probably look ugly in no time.
That’s why it’s important to practice reading and writing so that you can get ahead of your class in the future. It’s estimated that the number of students that part take on a class can be up to five times higher than the number of students in a high school class. That said, the teacher won’t wait for every student to complete a lesson.
Listen to the classes, write every detail, and work on ways to do it faster. Thanks to the technological achievements, many students use laptops, tablets, and even smartphones to take notes. Some use smartphones to record the lectures if their teachers let them. Some take the photos off the blackboard if they can’t write as fast. Make sure to ask your teacher first, at some colleges, recording and taking photos during classes isn’t permitted.
9. Practice your speech
Your vocal, verbal and speaking abilities will be highly valued at college. However, there are people who feel more introverted and don’t find comfort in speaking at events. That’s why it’s important to hone and cherish your speaking skills. Work on seminary projects, presentations, go on debates and indulge yourself in deep discussion events.
Practicing your vocal skills will also come in handy in passing exams and getting better grades, especially on oral exams.
10. Work on time management skills
Time management can be tricky. Students often think they can catch up with all the activities but end up procrastinating or drowning in the sea of obligations. If you own a computer, keep a spreadsheet of how you spend your day and try to manage your time better. Each part of the day should be adjusted for a certain activity. There should be time for studying, reading, sports activities, free time and more. As you see improvement, start increasing the time you’ll spend studying as college studying times are more excessive than that of high school.
11. Accumulate the expenses
As we know, college can be extremely expensive and comes with many requirements to pass a year. That said, if you’re on a vast distance between home and college, you should plan a budget for your accommodation and other basic needs. Many colleges have a campus where students can live, but in other situations, students need to rent the apartment and pay for their own food at other places with no subventions.
Finally, the costs of your studies and learning materials are important if you don’t have an adequate scholarship. You need to define the tuition fees and credits you’ll take each year. Each professor demands certain books that you need to write down and then get.
12. Visit campuses and start applying
The final task is to begin visiting the campuses in your junior year and start submitting early applications in the early senior year. By this time, you should’ve already started preparing for your entrance exams and it is time to start completing past papers and top your knowledge with information you missed on.
Lastly, make sure all the documents are ready and your GPA shines.
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Preparation for college doesn’t have to be immensely hard if the students start preparing in advance. The sole purpose of high school is to prepare students for the next stage, and that is college and university which throws the first life challenges on us.
We hope that our compelling list of things you can do to prepare for your college and entrance exams has helped you create a picture of how you should plan your time, how to improve writing and make a breakdown of your expenses and requirements in terms of extra-curricular activities and internships.
What are your tips for preparing for college? Let us know in the comments!