The sheer joy of hearing your name called and receiving a diploma in front of friends and family is a memory of a lifetime.
Unfortunately, it is a joyous period that also symbolizes the end of childhood and the beginning of adulthood. Meanwhile, in the midst of such celebration looms a fear students tend to have for the unknown as they prepare to enter college for the first time.
VIEWED AS ADULTS
First-time college students also know that they will be treated like adults in college.
In addition, they have a hard time handling the adjustment to attendance polices and graduating procedures from high school to college.
As a result, students worry about not cutting it academically and question if they have learned enough to be prepared, said Annie Chaddick, Collin College’s outreach coordinator.
“Students get excited about the fact that they might only be in the classroom 12-15 hours per week compared to how much time they spend in the classroom during high school,” Chaddick said. “But many students will be involved in campus activities, have a job and, of course, are studying for the next class. It is important for students to manage their time and prioritize activities.”
A TOOLKIT FOR SUCCESS
Equally important is knowing the college faculty and staff are there to help, according to Charmione Marcell, Collin College’s Coordinator of Programs for New Students.
“I also advise incoming students to get an on-campus advocate so you have someone to go to with questions or when you need a job reference,” Marcell added. “Connections are the key to your success.”
The following tips are also important.
- Go to New Student Orientation – This is the fastest way to get information on college resources.
- Time Management – Understand that taking 15 credit hours is equivalent to a full-time job. Plan on spending 2-3 hours of time on coursework outside of the classroom for each hour spent inside the classroom.
- Take Initiative – Ask questions, seek help, attend every class, get to know your professors and follow your degree plan.
- Self Reflection and Assessments – Reflect on what you enjoy the most. Make sure you select a major that leads you into a career that you love.
- Utilize Study Groups and Tutoring – Seek out a study group and apply for free tutoring groups early in the semester.
- Sign up for the Writing Center – When you are assigned your first essay, make an appointment with the Writing Center. It can help you understand the expectations for college-level writing.
- Go to the Library and Computer Labs – Familiarize yourself with the library and meet the librarians so that you already know about your resources.
- Get Connected – Join an organization or study group. The more connected you are, the stronger your support system is.
- Take a Class You Really Like – This will keep you motivated as you encounter challenges during that first semester.
- Rest/Have Fun – A rested mind can recall much more than a tired, crammed mind. College is a time of taking risks, overcoming obstacles and self discovery. Make the most of it and enjoy every minute because, while it may not seem like it now, time will fly by.
For more information about Collin College or transitioning into college, visit www.collin.edu.
Reprinted with permission by The Connection