High school students anticipating the college experience typically understand that life in college is different from life in high school. In many ways, these differences can affect how they perform academically.
Quite simply, in college, professors rarely chase down students who don’t submit assignments when they’re due. Parents or guardians aren’t there to tell a student to do their homework. Students need to enforce academic discipline on their own.
This can result in some students not performing to their full potential in college. Luckily, by preparing accordingly, this is less likely to happen.
Are you heading to college soon? If so, keep these college prep tips in mind to ensure you thrive academically.
Succeeding Academically in College: How to Prepare
Be Honest with Yourself
Again, college isn’t like high school. The adults in your life (be they professors, parents, or both) are much less likely to enforce certain academic expectations. You’re an adult now, and you make your own choices. Even if your parents do email and call you reminding you to complete your assignments, if they’re not actually there, they can’t make you obey their instructions.
Some people respond well to this freedom. When they’re treated like adults, they thrive to an even greater degree than ever before.
However, others aren’t prepared for such freedom. They fall behind on work because no one is there to make sure they’re finishing their assignments, attending class, and studying.
Honestly ask yourself which type of person you think you probably are. If you’re the type who might slack off when suddenly given more freedom, take this time to work on consciously enforcing academic discipline on your own. Complete your assignments before anyone tells you to. Ask for help before you start struggling. Develop a routine to ensure you get all your work done on time. Being proactive now will benefit you later.
Look Into Campus Resources Early
In high school, teachers and administrators will often direct student to educational resources when they are struggling academically. This is another aspect of college life that’s likely to be different. Although your campus will almost certainly offer resources of this type (such as free tutoring), there’s a good chance no one is going to actively make you take advantage of them. Instead, you should research them ahead of time to know what you can do when your academic performance starts to decline.
Find a Friend to Hold You Accountable
Once more, when no one actively holds you accountable for completing assignments and going to class, you might struggle with that much freedom at first. That’s why you should consider asking a current high school friend who is also going to college (bonus points if they’re going to the same college as you!) if they’d be willing to keep in touch throughout the first semester. You can hold them accountable for their academic performance, and they can hold you accountable for yours. This can help you make the transition from academic supervision to academic freedom.
(Of course, you need to make sure you partner with a friend who actually prioritizes their own academic performance!)
Don’t wait to put these tips into action. Remember, your academic life in college is almost certainly going to be very different from your academic life in high school. These tips will help you prepare.