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How to Prepare for College the Right Way: What You Will Need

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Going to college is a huge step that needs lots of preparation. Whether you are a high school student or an adult,  it is a milestone that can change your whole future and open more doors for you. However, if you are determined and work hard enough to plan for college, you will have the best college experience ever. Adults somehow know the drill and have taken the responsibility for their own lives years before, but the transition from student life to college can be harder. Do you think you are ready for college? If you’re not quite sure, we are here to help you prepare for college the right way.

Create a schedule

In your college years, time management is key. You need to assign sufficient time to each course with its different tasks, assignments, and tests. There will be many due dates and deadlines for projects and assignments, so you need to remember each one of them and prepare for each one at different times, and of course, you will need breaks to recharge. That is why you will need to create a schedule. Get one of those big wall planners and calendars and write down all the important dates. Hang it somewhere that is visible to you at all times. Your schedule may look busy and hectic; however, you should find the time to take breaks to exercise and hang out with your friends to maintain a healthy balance. This will ensure you avoid getting burned out and overwhelmed which, in turn, will reflect on your academic performance.

Read more

It is very important that you read a lot during the summer to prepare yourself for the reading load you will have to do in college and get used to it. You can read books prescribed by your professors first. There are many books recommended for new college students, suitable for your major of choice. For example, if you’re studying to become a doctor, you’ll want to do your research to find the best books to guide you on your journey. When searching for which pre-med school to consider, you’ll find that there are many books that help you pick the right college, giving you insight into the school itself and not just on what your courses will look like. Nonetheless,  books that are recommended for your major will provide you with the right knowledge to prepare for studies and classes. Check your program requirements on the college website, and read it carefully to have a better understanding of what grades are needed to pass each course and the number of credits needed to graduate. Moreover, there are course outlines and lecture instructions that you need to read to learn more about the campus and your classes.

Prepare and organise your supplies

Create a shopping list for the textbooks needed for your courses after receiving the prescribed book list for your classes. This way, you will not miss any of the needed textbooks or buy the wrong ones. Categorise your shopping list to books that can be bought online, and the ones found in bookshops only. If you want to save money, which you will most probably need to do in your college years, you can buy second-hand books. Moreover, some bookshops are cheaper than others, so it is very important that you compare the prices in each store before you go shopping. Don’t forget to add the stationary to your shopping list, as you will need pens, pencils, highlighters, folders, notebooks, and sticky notes. 

Develop your skills

For adults, this may not be necessary, as most likely you have already mastered communication skills along with other life skills. However, high school students need to prepare for college life by enhancing their soft skills like problem-solving, teamwork, conflict resolution, and adaptability. This can be done by enrolling in extracurricular activities like theatre or communication workshops. Volunteering or taking summer jobs can also help you improve and acquire new soft skills. Remember that college doesn’t only prepare you academically,  it also helps you gauge what it takes to become a productive, working individual. 

Final thoughts

College is definitely one of the most memorable life experiences where you make new friends, find your purpose, study what you want, and prepare for your journey in life. That is why you need to prepare well to make the most out of it. Before you start college, you need to create a schedule with all the important deadlines and due dates, read as many books as you can during summer, prepare an organised shopping list for all the needed supplies, and develop your soft and communication skills. Furthermore, you need to create a balanced life during your college years to be able to reach your full potential, so find time for fun activities and rest. With this guide, you’ll be well on your way to starting a new chapter and creating the life you want to live.

Tommy Williamson did his degree in psychology at the University of Edinburgh. He is interested in mental health and well-being.

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