You’ve been preparing academically for this moment for the last four years and it’s finally here. Maybe you’ve taken all the college prep classes and prepared for all of the educational challenges ahead of you, but are you emotionally ready?
Another thing to consider is the logistics of actually living on your own and supporting yourself financially, with less help from your parents. Here are some tips worth considering on transitioning from high school to college.
1. Time management
For every hour in the classroom, you should plan on three hours of studying on your own. This means that if you’re taking a three-hour class, you’ll need to set aside nine hours a week to read, prepare for exams, and complete assignments for each class.
College courses come in a variety of formats. However, the most common types are either Mon/Wed/Fri classes or Tu/Thurs classes. Get a planner (either paper or digital) to block out not only the times you’ll be in class but to assign times dedicated to studying, working on homework, and attending office hours. Use this planner to ensure that your social or work obligations don’t overlap with school work.
2. Financial independence
Take initiative to plan out your monthly budget. Analyze your expenses and income, then compare that with your goals and be sure you can cover your bills and pay for general necessities. If you’ve been financially dependent on your parents, take strategic, timely steps to take on more responsibility.
Adjust your budget to match the money currently available in your bank account – focus on your most important goals and essentials. Collaborate with friends to make it easy to save money cooking together, be creative in saving money, and make being “on a budget” fun!
3. Social engagement
In addition to studying, you’ll also want to take an active role in social activities when you get to campus. Social clubs, Bible studies, and co-curricular activities are a great way to meet new people and improve your leadership skills. Becoming involved in these groups will require strategic time management on your part, but it’s important to remember how invaluable these activities are to your overall college experience!
There are tons of ways to get involved on campus. Do a little research on the various social clubs at LCU so you can find one that fits best with your personality.
4. Ask for help
Not everyone adjusts to college life right away. In fact, the process of transitioning to a new home, schedule, and friend group can be emotionally exhausting for many students. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you aren’t absolutely loving everything about college right away. You had expectations that this was going to be the best time of your life (and it still can be), but it can also be a stressful, taxing time.
If you’re having trouble adjusting, reach out to someone for help. You may feel shame or embarrassment that you aren’t quickly adjusting, but it’s highly likely that by talking about it, you will find out you’re not the only one who feels this way. Talk with your parents, find a mentor, or share what you’re feeling with your roommate and new friends down the hall. Simply knowing there are other students processing the same feelings can be a huge help to help you through this exciting yet challenging transition. LCU has many resources to help students adjust to college and process life-changing experiences – reach out and ask for help.
5. Have fun
Give yourself some grace. Take a break every once in a while to soak in your newfound freedom as a college student. This phase of life means you can make friends, take new adventures, and try new things.
Here are a few ways to unwind:
- Get a workout buddy
- Go on an adventure
- Plan a special evening out
- Take a nap 🙌🏻
- Seek out volunteer opportunities
- Find a church home
- Call your parents or your best friend
College is where you find out who you are and who you want to be. It’s an exciting time to explore which career fits you, meet new people, and learn about different cultures. As you prepare for this transition, know that we’re rooting for you and for your success!