College may be the first time a kid lives out of his or her parents house, or it may have been several years or more since they have attended school formally. The first year is the most challenging for students for several reasons. Adjusting to college life does take a little time. Passing these tips onto your kids might help them adjust more easily.
Studies and Courses
In high school students are given feedback on their work frequently, and have more consequences when homework and assignments aren’t completed on schedule. College life is different because students are solely responsible for making time to study and turning work in on time. This is one of the biggest challenges that first year college students face. You can expect to dedicate about twenty hours a week to study time if you are taking classes full time in addition to the time you spend in class.
Setting up a schedule before the semester starts allows you to see exactly how much time you have for social activities and work. Signing up for the work-study program can also be helpful since your work schedule is designed to leave enough time for classes and studying. The common misconception about college is that students spend most of their time at parties. The reality is that college is hard work if you want to be successful.
Adjusting to your first year at college isn’t all work, however. Most universities have social events planned throughout the year that allow you to meet new people. During the first few weeks it is common to feel homesick regardless of how many people are around you. It is best to stay involved in the activities provided by your college or dorm rather than visiting home. Going home too often, or too soon, can make adjusting to living in a dorm more difficult.
Take Advantage Of Experience
Most colleges today offer a course for first semester students to assist them in completing college and adjusting to life on their own. A college life skills course offers information about how to study for tests, how to feel more at home in your dorm, and how to manage your time with a busy schedule. You can also seek assistance from a counselor, your advisor, or from other students attending college.
Learning how to deal with the freedom and responsibilities of college life is an important part of the transition from high school. Financial responsibility is another challenge that students will need to master as they make the transition from home to an independent college student. Financial aid, whether grants, scholarships, or loans can be used to pay tuition and housing. Talking to a financial aid advisor allows you to learn more about your options and helps you plan for the future.
Staying On Track
College requires dedication, organization, and focus to compete successfully. A planner that is kept current with due dates and assignments is a tool that no first year student should be without. You can also keep names, email addresses, and phone numbers for instructors and other school personnel in your planner. Universities offer free tutoring programs for students having difficulty with course material. Don’t hesitate when you feel that you may not be on track academically. Getting tutoring help quickly will ensure that you make the grade you need to continue your college career.
It does take some time to adjust to your new life on campus. There are many resources for students to use during their first semester, however. When you use the tools and resources available to you, your chances of completing your first semester of college on track increase greatly.
Byline: Aaron Gormley knows how important education is both for younger and older folks, which is why he is a proponent of online education for laid off workers.