The college or university you have chosen to attend will be your home for approximately the next four years. The decisions you make over that time will affect your entire future for years afterward. Here more than ever it is important to get off to the right start. Here are a few things you can do to make sure you get off to the right start in college.
Have a Plan
There is no substitute for preparation. Do some college reading or take a few preparatory college courses before you start college, so you will have some idea what to expect. Have an idea how you are going to structure your time. Once you know what your classes are and what they will demand of you, try to schedule how many hours per day you will need for school work and try to stick to that schedule. If you have a good idea what your major will be, in doesn't hurt to map out a long term class schedule in advance. Figure out what courses you will have to take and when in order to meet all of your requirements before you go in for your first scheduling session. These decisions are not etched in stone, but they could save you a lot of heartache later.
Keep An Open Mind
You are going to encounter a lot of new ideas and attitudes in college. Some may be foreign to you, some you may find confusing, some you may even find offensive. You will do yourself a favor if you approach the college situation with an open mind. Keep in mind that people from different backgrounds and with different experiences will form different opinions from yours, and that is okay. You don't have to agree with everything you see or hear, but you should respect the diversity of culture and opinion that you encounter.
When you arrive at college, you are going to be flooded with new experiences. You will essentially have a new home and a new hometown. You will meet all sorts of new people, many very different from what you are used to. The style of academics may be vastly different from what you encountered in high school. This may all be very scary at first. Remain calm. Almost all of your fellow students are undergoing the same anxieties. They, like you, will get over it. You will surprise yourself at how quickly you adapt to your situation. Give yourself a chance.
If you approach college as someone who is organized, flexible and ready to put forth a positive attitude, your transition to college life can be relatively painless, and can set the stage for a fun, exciting and successful four years as a college student.