Make a Smooth College Transition By Taking Advantage of Great Resources Both On and Off Campus
Everyone knows that college is a change, and many students are unaware of how big of a transition it will be into college life. You don’t know what issues you will run into, and you might not know how to handle them. Don’t fret; you’re not the first to go off to college and there are plenty of resources out there to help students adjust to college living.
College-bound freshmen should become familiar with both online and on-campus resources that can help solve any problems or answer any questions they may have once they get on campus. Here are some great resources for new college students.
One thing is certain in college life, and that is that you will have to buy textbooks. This can get really expensive really quickly, so take some time to shop around. Big Words is a site that compares prices from many different websites and shows you the cheapest ones. It saves a lot of time, letting you get your shopping done very quickly.
The conversation most commonly held in the library is between people comparing how many hours they have been there, and how little work they have gotten done in that time. Even in the library, college is filled with distractions. SelfControl is a Mac OS X app that keeps you from wasting time on websites like Facebook, Twitter, or Buzzfeed. Just add whatever websites you need to avoid to your “Blacklist” and set the timer for as long as you need to stay focused. It’s so much more rewarding to take a study break when the timer runs out, and you know you’ve gotten some studying done.
Distance makes the heart grow fonder, and Skype is a great way to keep up with everyone you miss. Use Skype to to stay in touch with family, friends, and, most importantly, your parents. You will miss your parents much more than you realize, so being a quick video chat away is a great way to eas into college life and the distance from home.
Everyone is given an advisor when they get to college, and they are often a wealth of knowledge on the school, and your department. They’ll have great advice on classes to take, professors to work with, possible career paths, etc. Get to know them! Set up a meeting your first semester so you can meet him or her and discuss your goals.
It is a sad truth, but one day, college will come to an end. When that happens, it helps to have that one thing you went to college for: a job! The career services office at your school is an excellent resource that too many students don’t take advantage of. The career services office can help you with your resume, cover letter, applications, interview skills, and whatever else you may need to land that first job out of college. They can also help with summer jobs, internships, research programs, or on-campus jobs. Stop in, even before you start looking for a job. Knowing what’s there will help you when the time comes to enter the job market.
Not too long after you get to school, there will probably be a college fair. You should go! There are so many things that you can get involved in, and doing so early helps you make friends, acclimate to your new surroundings, and meet upper-classman, who are always good to know if you ever have a question about life at your school. Joining extra-curricular activities is important to your college experience. You may be tempted to wait until you are settled, but it’s much easier to settle into the environment by joining something outside the classroom.
Schoolwork in college is a lot different than schoolwork in high school. There’s no shame in admitting you need help, you’re not the only one. Most colleges have a tutoring center, and the people who work there are older students who have done well in the classes you are taking. They know what you’re going through and they know how to help. If you’re struggling in a class, go to the tutoring center early on; don’t wait until the night before your first midterm.
International Student Services
Adjusting to college is hard enough, but doing it in another country is even more difficult. If you’re an international student studying in the US, become familiar with your college’s International Student Office. From help with visa and immigration questions, to social and emotional support during the transition, your school’s International Student Services are there to help you every step of the way.
There are so many resources out there to help you adjsut to college life, and many are specific to your school. Do some research ahead of time, and find out what other resources students are using. If you know someone who goes to the college you will be attending, ask them what on and off campus resources they recommend. If you know where to turn, your college transition will be easy and fun!