In just a few weeks, your freshman year of college will begin. You’ve prepared for this moment for years, but even with all of that preparation you might feel surprised at how different things are. Get ready for your educational career to change in the following four ways.
You’re not required to go to class. Some instructors will enforce an attendance policy, and some won’t. But even for those who do, the consequences of skipping class are usually limited to a lowered grade. No one is going to call your parents to report your absence, and truancy officers certainly won’t get involved! It can be tempting to skip, but think of it this way: You’re paying a lot of money for each class. Cutting class would be a huge waste. Plus, what you miss in day of college can equal several days of high school classes. It’s just not worth it.
Yes, your classes will be harder. Assignments, especially papers, will be more demanding. Tests will probably feel more challenging. But remember; you prepared for this and earned your spot in the freshman class. You’re entirely capable of this level of work! And on that note…
More work is done outside of class. In high school, teachers helped you through assignments (often during school hours) and your parents probably nagged occasionally. In college you’re responsible for managing your course load and completing assignments on time. So make a study schedule, mark deadlines on your calendar, and resist the urge to procrastinate. The work can pile up fast.
Resources are available, but they’re different. Instructors do keep office hours, during which you’re welcome to stop by. Make a note of these hours in case you need help, and you can always send an email. Most instructors are happy to answer questions, but they won’t walk you through assignments in quite the same way high school teachers did.
If you need help with writing skills, check the resources available at your school. Most offer writing centers where you can receive tutoring in this area.
All of that sounds overwhelming, but don’t worry. You’re well prepared for this moment, and with a bit of advance planning you will transition to college just fine.