People have a common misconception that homeschoolers have problems transferring into college; however, I recently experienced my first day at college, and, as someone who's been homeschooled for his entire life, I have to say that the transition was actually quite easy. I wasn't surprised or confused, and I've had no problems keeping up with my 21-credit-hour workload. You probably are now eager to learn how I had no problem with switching over, so, my tips, in no particular order:


Figure Out Where Your Classes Are Before School Starts


This, fortunately, is something I did, and I can testify to how free of stress I was because I knew where everything is. My campus is not particularly big, but I would have been very lost if I had to figure everything out on the spot. I would also recommend figuring out the route you will take to and from your different classes, the cafeteria (for lunch and/or dinner), the library, and so on. I was fortunate in having my classes all located rather conveniently, but you may need a little more forethought.


Expect People


Many commonly stereotype homeschoolers as antisocial beings, and, while often that stereotype is undeserved, some of us, such as myself, have had a more isolated homeschool experience. So expect people, and expect a lot of them. If you've got friends going into the same college as you, it won't be too big of a problem because you'll have your own human shield, but if you're alone the sheer number of human beings might overwhelm you. 


Fortunately, for those of you introverts out there, I have a piece of consolation and a tip. First, the consolation is that most of the people there know each other, have somewhere to be, or are introverted as well, so it's likely you won't even get noticed until you're in the classroom and the teacher calls your name to take roll. My tip for you introverts is to bring earbuds and listen to music. It's what I, and a lot of other people, do, and it can make things a lot less awkward for you. 


Of course, if you're a social butterfly, you'll probably have less of an issue, but the volume of people may cause you problems if your goal is to make friends. Like I said, everybody has somewhere to go or something to do, and no one's really going to have the time to stand around and talk. The best way to meet up with people is before class or special-interest groups. 


Get There Early


This applies to commuters, so skip ahead if you're living on campus. Nothing will destroy your confidence as much as arriving late. For me, it was comforting to arrive thirty minutes early and know I had the power to enter class whenever I wanted. Besides, if you haven't driven the route very often, you'll likely find that driving will eat up your time very quickly, as will rush-hour traffic, if you have morning classes like I do. It's also much more relaxing to just cruise to school rather than counting down the minutes. 


Get Lots of Sleep


Trust me, the last thing you want to do is blanking out in the middle of class. Teachers generally are reasonable and understanding, but falling asleep in class will not earn you brownie points. Besides, driving while tired is dangerous, and you're likely to lose your way or miss a class if your head isn't screwed on straight.


Don't Forget Lunch (Yes, I forgot mine)


Not everybody has a packed schedule, but if you do, don't forget to bring your lunch. You may not have time to buy lunch at the cafeteria, and if you have particular preferences, it may be hard to find something you like. It's also slightly distressing when someone in class mentions food and you suddenly realize that you've forgotten yours. 


Check and Double-Check


When you hear of how I saved myself from missing Physics 120 and accidentally taking Physics 130, you'll make sure to follow this rule faithfully. So, let's sidetrack into my personal experience. 


I could've sworn when I sat down in class that my physics class was taking place in Room 117. I wasn't even fazed when the teacher mentioned our physics would have Calculus in it, as I'd taken Calculus before. However, when several students seemed surprised at that piece of information, I got suspicious. After they discovered they were in the wrong class, I decided I would double-check that I'd found the right room. As it turns out, Room 117 was for the physics lab, and class was actually taking place in Room 177. 


My conclusion? Regardless of what information it is, whether it is your room number or your section number, I encourage you to repeatedly check the accuracy of that information. 


Alright, that's all I have for you. There's certainly more that could be said, like how you should take notes, pay attention, be respectful always, have your textbooks in on time, etc. But you're in college, and I expect you have enough common sense to do all those things. So, on that note I wish you good luck with the new semester, and if you're a freshman like me, don't be intimidated by college; it's not that bad.


Go freshmen!


Tours yruly

Published by Michael Hollingworth