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4 Ways to Make the Transition From High School to College Easier

A black and white photo of a young woman sitting at a table looking at a laptop.

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

A couple of years ago, I was flourishing in high school. I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to do in college, but unfortunately, that wasn’t the case.

My report cards looked like straight As, and I was involved with leadership within clubs and sports. I did all of this and often hung out with friends and family, with a job, on the weekends. This routine and schedule motivated me and kept me committed to my work most of the time.

I was highly confident in wanting to do a challenging major and thought it would be a piece of cake.

I started to fall behind in my first year of college, but I accounted for COVID messing up my learning experience and work ethic. As time progressed, I realized these were genuinely tough classes, and it took more than just confidence to pass.

The same routine I had in high school made me too comfortable; I did not study because I still did well on tests and quickly rushed through assignments since I would get good marks. 

Lack of rigor resulted in plenty of students, including myself, lacking the necessary skills to succeed in college. Many schools, especially in low-income areas, don’t have adequate access to educational resources, resulting in many students experiencing this.

It took a lot of time, but eventually, I took a step back and took the time to change my lifestyle when it came to school. It is one of the hardest things to break a routine.

If you need to take a semester or year off for your mental health, Niche has plenty of articles discussing the benefits of taking one, so be sure to do your research.

Just because you built terrible habits doesn’t mean you are stuck with those bad habits forever. All it takes is willpower and resources to achieve more. Sticking to a plan will improve the consistency needed to build new habits. Here are a few ways to improve.

How To Use College Resources To Succeed

Create a study chart within your class schedule

Students who procrastinate mainly struggle with short study sessions throughout the semester, leading them to improperly prepare for an exam or quiz. When creating your schedule at the beginning of the semester, block out times to study, where maybe you’ll go to the library between classes or even group sessions with friends.

Doing this before helps you be held accountable for your studying and allows you to make other plans around your studying. I find it also necessary to try to study even when you feel like you’ve done all your homework. Skipping out on studying can lead to a spiral of skipping.

Access your school’s tutoring centers

Many universities have free tutoring centers for students to access specific courses they are taking. I feel as though many people do not take advantage of this resource either due to being nervous about going or not realizing it’s there.

Go to your university’s information page to find out more about whether or not your school offers these resources.

Reach out to a support group

Whether it be a Discord chat or group therapy, a support group can significantly benefit your mental health. Many other students struggle with similar issues, so being able to discuss new time management skills, gain new friends, and overall feel less alone with these thoughts will help.

Create great relationships with professors 

This may seem obvious, but creating solid relationships with your professors can be one of your most fantastic resources. I have found both academic and mental/emotional support while going through the stressors of college.

Building good relationships allowed me to feel comfortable asking questions about the course and made it so professors were aware of where I needed more help.

Some professors also have access to outside opportunities, like connections for getting a job or once-in-a-lifetime experiences. Internships and traveling are among the opportunities you may learn about through different professors on campus.

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