College Survival Tips

You’re in Charge Now
I arrived at college confident. I knew I was well-prepared. I worked hard in high school and it showed. I was accepted into a competitive university. But as my family’s unloaded station wagon drove off, it hit me, along with thousands of other college freshman nationwide, that I was now in charge.

The transition between high school and college marks a dramatic change in personal responsibility. It’s difficult to predict how well students will adapt to this abrupt adjustment. As academics become a full-time job, responsibilities both inside and outside the classroom challenge a student’s organization and accountability. If I could travel back in time, I would appear on the bench outside my freshman dorm, so as my parents drove away I could call myself over and have a nice little chat.

  • Congratulations! You made it to college. What got you here–studying, tests, and homework–is going to make you successful.
  • Don’t forget the strategies and behaviors that enabled you to succeed in high school. If you had a method to prevent yourself from procrastinating, a tendency to always write down assignments and due dates, or studying techniques that worked best, remember to use them!
  • If you didn’t stay up hours after midnight during weekdays at home, then you probably aren’t using your time wisely now in college.
  • When lessons learned in high school are overlooked, continuous development as a student and young adult is compromised. From personal experience and observing my peers, the students who stand out are those who not only have a strong foundation in time management and discipline, but built upon it starting on the first day of classes.

The transition into college for many students is perhaps one of the greatest adjustments both mentally and socially thus far in their lives. To make a successful transition, the student’s organizational strategies and sense of accountability that earned them acceptance into college is essential. For all students seeking education after high school, achievement lies in the preparation.

By Tom LaBelle