It's never too early to prepare for college. Use the tips here to ensure you are ready.
Every year, over 20 million students enroll in colleges and universities across the country...so why does it feel so overwhelming when it's your turn to do so?!
Preparing for college can be an exciting and, sometimes, a somewhat scary time for anyone who decides to enroll. There's so much to do, so much to remember, and so much change to anticipate!
Whether you've already begun to prepare for college, or you're still in the early stages of your high school career, you may be wondering what you can do to be sure you'll be ready to walk into that lecture hall when the time comes. The good news is, there are lots you can do to prepare yourself for a smooth and successful transition into college!
Here are our top 10 tips for preparing for a tip-top college career.
1. Do Your Homework...Well!
While it seems that the typical argument in favor of consistently completing your homework is, "So you can get good grades and get into college," there's another major reason you'll want to take homework seriously throughout high school.
Pushing yourself to do your homework, and to do it well, prepares you to do well in college. By time you make it to campus, you'll be a pro at juggling tasks and doing everything with care! Your college-self will thank you for taking your high school homework seriously.
2. Challenge Yourself
And speaking of doing things well-one thing more impressive than getting good grades is getting good grades in tough classes! It's important that you take the time to challenge yourself in high school.
Choose Advanced Placement or dual enrollment college classes while you're in high school. Take online classes in addition to your school's standard curriculum. Challenging yourself makes you look good and it makes you that much stronger of a college student!
3. Pursue Studies on Your Own
If you're hoping for a really successful college life and career thereafter, it's important that you pursue even more subjects than those you get through school. Really interested in map-making? Want to learn more about anthropology?
Make it your goal to become an expert in subjects most people don't study in high school. This will help you to become a better-rounded learner, and it just might help lead you down the path to your future career!
4. Prepare Seriously for the SAT
Whether you're for or against standardized testing, most colleges weigh your SAT scores heavily when making admissions, honors, and scholarship decisions. It's extremely important for the rest of your college career that you take the SATs seriously.
Consider investing in a set of SAT preparation materials or taking an SAT prep course. Remember, it's never too soon to start preparing for this test. Get a head start on SAT prep and continue to study all the way up until your test date.
5. Get Involved
Outside the classroom, too, it's super important to demonstrate to potential colleges the efforts you've made to contribute to your school and community. It also allows you to become a contributing member of society, even before you've graduated high school!
Speak to a guidance counselor and do your research in order to find out more about the ways in which you can get involved outside of the classroom. Whether it's in a school organization or a community volunteer effort, getting involved early on prepares you to be a socially-conscious and beneficial student once you've reached college.
6. Do Loads of Research
A major recurring theme when it comes to preparing for college? Do your research. Whether it's into questions about financial aid, logistics of which college will make the best fit for you, or which type of housing you'll be most suited for, research is the key to any successful college experience.
Doing your research well before move-in day will help you to experience a smoother, more seamless and informed transition into college. It'll help your peace of mind, and you'll already be one step ahead of lots of your fellow freshmen!
7. Use Your Resources
If you've got lots of questions and research topics you want to look into, but aren't sure where to start, there's a simple answer: Use your resources. Most likely, your high school has a guidance counselor who's well-versed in all things college. You may have a teacher with whom you have a good relationship or a mentor outside of school you can turn to for advice or informational literature.
Whoever and whatever it is, be sure to take advantage of the resources you have around you. You might be surprised how much knowledge can come from asking a simple question of a mentor or teacher!
8. Ask Around
When it comes to preparing for college, there may be no better mode of preparation than simply asking around. Ask college grads or current students about their experiences. Listen closely and take any advice to heart.
If you're deciding between a few colleges or majors, it may be helpful to ask people you know who have attended those schools or pursued similar studies.
They'll be able to provide insight, pros and cons, and other information that may help you make the right decision. (Hint: this is all just another way of saying "Use your resources!")
9. Have a Plan
As you prepare to attend college, things may begin to feel overwhelming. It can be a big help to have a plan. If you're in your first or second year of high school, consider drafting a year-by-year plan with goals like when you'll start researching colleges and how many organizations you hope to join.
If you're later in your high school career, start from where you're at and plan out the things you'll need to do to prepare for your upcoming entrance into college.
Having a plan or a bulleted outline of things to achieve can help the whole experience seem less overwhelming. It can also help you to keep your major goals in mind throughout the tough times!
10. Keep an Open Mind
Perhaps the most important reminder as you prepare for college (and throughout the rest of your life) is that sometimes things don't work out quite as you've planned so you have to keep an open mind. Remember to be flexible, adaptive, and positive. Remember that things will work out in the end.
As you enter college, you'll meet people with loads of different backgrounds and perspectives from your own. You'll face new challenges and you'll be disappointed.
You'll find new things that excite you and you'll expand your own perspectives in major ways. Always, always be open to changes!
Want More Tips to Help You Prepare for College?
Preparing for college is often equal parts exciting and intimidating. To make the process as smooth and successful as possible, it's a great idea to get started preparing as soon as you can so you're on the right track!
For more tips to help you prepare for college, and other trending stories, check out our page!