Secrets to an Easy Transition from High School to College

18 February 2021

Blog post

By Leah Mazie

Before my freshman year of college I was a nervous wreck. I had countless questions about what to expect and was always looking for tips on how to make this transition from high school as smooth as possible.

I am here to give advice and talk about the 10 ways I was able to manage the hefty college workload right off the bat.

  1. Pay attention during class. Make sure you sit near other students who will not distract you. It may seem “more fun” to sit with your friends, but this will only distract you from what the professor is teaching. In addition, taking detailed notes is imperative in order to be successful! Whether you are taking your own notes, sharing notes with a friend, or getting them from an online platform like Smartnotes, your notes are going to be your ticket to success.
  2. Rewrite your notes after each class. Rewriting my notes after class was something that definitely took me some time to integrate into my daily routine, but trust me, it is worth it. This method will help you remember the class material over a long period of time so that there is no need to cram right before the exam.
  3. Go to office hours. Most professors have hundreds of students and will probably not take the time to learn who everyone is. I have found it helpful to introduce myself to the professor on the first day of class so he/she can become familiar with me. In addition, professors love when you make the effort to go to office hours. If you are in need of extra help, do not be afraid to reach out to your professor and set up a time to meet — they WANT you to succeed.
  4. Do not cram before a test. In high school I was the type of student who would study the night before a test and still do well. I quickly learned that this is not sustainable in college. College classes cover much more material than high school classes and are taught at a much faster pace. I always start studying for an exam about a week prior.
  5. Find a study spot that you are comfortable with. If you ask any of my friends at school, they will tell you that my favorite place to study is the third floor of the library. It is important to find a study spot where you are going to be your most productive.
  6. Do not skip class. Skipping a lecture for reasons like wanting to sleep in or not wanting to walk to class in the rain are not valid and will only make you fall behind. If you have to miss class for a legitimate reason, then make sure you get the notes from someone who went to the lecture or search for those notes online.
  7. Be prepared for large lecture halls with 100+ students. This can definitely be overwhelming at first, but I have found ways to make this more manageable. Make sure to sit near the front of the room or in a seat where you can actually see the professor.
  8. Make sure to take some time for yourself. During my first semester of college I was so invested in getting good grades while simultaneously trying to make as many friends as I could that I started to tire myself out. It is important to learn how to balance your schoolwork, social life, and personal time.
  9. Be open minded. Starting college can be extremely stressful and overwhelming for some people. If the first few months do not go as planned, stay positive and try to learn from your mistakes.
  10. Sign up for a class that you know nothing about. College is a time where it is important to explore your interests. Make sure to step out of your comfort zone and take a class or two that you would not typically take.

As a college student myself, I know how stressful the transition from high school to college can be, but I hope I that these 10 tips can help ease your concerns and answer your questions about starting college!

28 comments

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