Every year seniors all over the country feel stressed or unprepared for the years beyond highschool that approach with lightning speed, and it’s even more exaggerated this year, considering all the normal events that were taken away that help the graduates transition. Here are a few tips that were gathered from a few anonymous Westminster graduates that will make those preparing for college feel more ready:
1.Remember that everyone is going through the same thing as you
You are not the only one that is nervous about making new friends and being thrown into an entirely new environment. Everyone’s feeling the nerves, and everyone wants to make friends. This means that you will be better off if you take the initiative and try to be friends with everyone. Nearly everyone will appreciate it, and if a couple people don’t, you still will have tons of new friends and college won’t seem quite as scary.
2. Set boundaries with your roommates as soon as possible
If you are a clean person that does not appreciate clutter or an early bird that doesn’t want a ruckus happening just outside their door at two in the morning, you will be much happier if you make sure your roommates know the rules day one. Let them know what you like and dislike in a roommate, and allow them to do the same and try to accommodate their desires as well. If you make sure the boundaries are set immediately, there will be little room for argument if they leave the bathroom a disaster or wake you up in the middle of the night with their loud music.
3.Wait until after your first day of classes to buy textbooks
If you buy everything you are told to before class, you will most likely end up buying a ton of unnecessary books. Waiting will avoid this and save you money. You might also find out that you can rent books somewhere or get them for cheap somewhere on campus.
4.Less is more when it comes to packing
Pack less than you think you need- especially if you’re an overpacker. You can buy everything else when you get there if you are ever truly in need of an item you chose to leave behind. If your school is in Florida, do you really think you’ll need that winter coat?
5.80/20 vs 20/80 rule
In high school, you are generally given 80% of what you need by teachers and you come up with the rest using critical thinking skills (and often Google… don’t deny it), but in college it’s the opposite. Professors give you 20% of the information you need, and you come up with the other 80% on your own. Be prepared to participate in discussions with your own original thoughts and teach yourself much of what you need to know.
6.Procrastination kills internships
If you want any kind of internship, job, etc., you will need to be on top of it. Internship slots fill up fast, so you should begin thinking about your summer plans relatively soon in the year. As soon as applications are available, submit yours to several different places.
7.Read the syllabus
At least half of the questions you ask your professors will most likely receive the response: “Look at the syllabus”. It’s all there. Keep it, read it.
If you have the funds and opportunity, study abroad as much as you can. It’s an extremely formative experience and you will create memories you will never forget. Of course you can always travel, but studying abroad offers you the opportunity to meet new people and learn in another country for an extended period of time.
Whether it be intramural sports, clubs, or service opportunities, most colleges offer a large list of things that students can be a part of. Try everything that seems moderately interesting to you. You will meet new people and generally just have tons of fun.
10.Don’t be afraid to ask for help
Tutors, R.A.s, professors, and other students are almost always happy to help you with whatever you need help with, so if you are struggling with an essay, don’t know where to begin when applying for a job on campus, or don’t know where to go for one of your classes, just ask. Most people will be happy to help, so don’t be shy.