Are you preparing for the transition from high school to college, but wonder if you have the academic chops to be successful? Have you been thinking that the demands of college course loads would crush you?
Don't be overwhelmed. Here are some recommendations that may help! Whether you are in the beginning or in the middle of high school, the habits and disciplines that you practice today will dramatically assist your smooth transition to college. Here are some tips to help you be prepared.
1.Spend time with God
For a Christian, the first aim of education should be to aid man in knowing God properly. This is the most important preparation for college. Find a Bible study, daily devotional, or Bible study plan that works for you. Make sure you spend time with the Lord every day, even its just praying before you start your day.
Want to learn how PHC understands the value of spending time with God? Learn more about spiritual life at PHC here.
2. Visit the colleges that interest you
Whether you have one or ten colleges on your list, plan on at least an introductory visit. You will get a feel for the distance from home, the community, the academics, and the professors, which will help in the decision-making process. Take advantage of your time there and talk with current students.
How do you know it’s the right college? Does it matter whether its Christian or non-Christian? Find answers to those questions and more in our free downloadable: The Complete Guide to Selecting a College.
3. While in high school, practice time management and planning
Prioritization and time management are essential for success in college and in your post-collegiate endeavors. One example is when the due date for an academic paper worth 1/3 of your final grade looms overhead. Practice time management while still in High School. Planning 3 or so weeks in advance, identify the smaller, more manageable benchmarks for your assignment. Then backing up from that date, schedule mini due dates leading up to the final drop dead date. This will aid you with all your large projects in college.
What about your schedule? Write down your class schedule and calculate how much time in-between commitments you have for studying, but remember to leave margin for travel time. Most likely, you have more time than you realized to get studying done and still have margin to do fun activities.
Do you have the tendency to procrastinate? Here are some tips to overcome procrastination.
4. Strengthen your writing skills
Writing is a key part of performing well in college, especially at PHC. Learn to write concisely while still communicating affectively. This doesn’t just apply to papers, but to emails and any other form of written communication. Learning to write in a clear and persuasive way is the key to success in any career.
Need some help getting started? Here are some writing tips from PHC’s professors!
5. Participate in extracurriculars
Find two to three activities that you enjoy and invest in them. The more time you dedicate to something, the better it bodes for you on your resume—colleges like to see commitment.
Sometimes those extracurricular activities could be continued at college. Here at PHC, students can join the choral, chamber orchestra, and forensics (Mock Trial, Moot Court, and Civic Debate), just to name a few.
6. Find a good balance between school and fun
This is such an important aspect to college life. There is a time to work and a time to play. While you may enjoy those extracurricular activities, they shouldn’t take precedence over academics or community-building. Instead, it means that a balance is important. For example, you can go to coffee with a friend for an hour as study break.
Create boundaries and protect the time that you promised to yourself for academic study. If you decide you want to do something during that time, schedule your “required” study time at a different hour that day.
7. Learn to ask questions
This may seem like a simple thing, but it is very important to learn to ask questions of professors, whether in the classroom or during office hours. There are no silly questions. Most likely, your peers are wondering the same thing or will benefit from your question.
8. Cultivate a love of learning
Next to spiritual preparedness, obtaining a love of learning is important for a successful four years at college. If you don’t love learning, then the time, money, and energy you invest in academic pursuits may not seem as rewarding. However, if you learn to love learning and how to learn, you will find college to be more exciting and enjoyable than you might think.
9. Practice for admission interviews
While practice won’t make perfect, it certainly will aid you in the long run! Practice with a friend or parent by role playing. You can find many lists of questions that are typically asked in interviews, but here’s one to get you started: 11 Ways to Ace Your College Admission Interview.
10. Enjoy the time you have left
College is the beginning of a new stage in your life. Living on campus, managing your schedule, and making new friends present a whole new set of life experiences. While preparation is important, don’t dwell so much on the future that you forget to live in the present. Spend time with your loved ones. Intentionally schedule time with friends. Cultivate relationships which you can continue even when you are far away and plan ways to maintain them even in the busyness of school.
Get your FREE High School Resource Guide and other helps specifically tailored for Christian college-bound students. Click below.