4 Essential Tips for Transitioning from High School to College

ReflectingIf you are headed off to college in the fall, you are probably balancing the excitement that high school is over and the excitement (and maybe apprehension) that college is about to begin! First things first, your emotions are common – most graduates are off living their best summer lives, while constantly remembering that big changes are on their way! The transition from high school to college is certainly a major milestone in life, and also one that is not to be overlooked!

Adjusting to college is not a walk in the park – life is about to become drastically different! We don’t want you to fall into a statistic of college drop outs, so take some time to read our advice on how to navigate the transition from high school to college.

1. Attend Orientation

If you have the opportunity to attend a freshman orientation, this experience will be hugely helpful in getting yourself acquainted with your new home and new peers. An orientation may also give you the opportunity to see where you will be living, so you can prepare appropriately for your new room. You may also choose your courses and begin to prepare for the rigors of college academics. You’ll also get a little taste of living independently in your new community! Take time to soak all of this in and use your summer months to prepare for these new changes.

2. Prioritize Organization

You’re going to be living on your own! Woo! While this newfound freedom is probably one of the things you’re most excited about, also remember that now you are completely responsible for organizing your life and your time. Explore new organization techniques to keep you on top of your responsibilities when school begins.

3. Identify Campus Resources

College campuses are stacked with resources for students. There are gyms, art studios, counseling offices, tutoring services, career counselors, resume editors… the list goes on and on! Your tuition dollars will likely cover your access to most of these things, so take advantage of them! These resources will help you make the most of your collegiate experience and will be immensely helpful as you make the transition from high school to college.

4. Get Ready for a Roommate!

Maybe you grew up sharing a room with a sibling, or maybe you’ve had a room all to yourself. Either way, things are about to change! Most students will end up living in close quarters with a stranger, and that is a very pivotal experience in your transition from high school to college.

When you receive information about your roommate, don’t hesitate to reach out and get to know them! The more you can communicate before starting school, the easier it will be to live together as roommates. Talk openly about respecting boundaries, set expectations for your shared space together and make a plan for tackling the first year!

Don’t Worry About Your Freshman Roommate!

roomateBefore my first year of college, one of the biggest things I worried about was the prospect of not liking my freshman roommate. After having my own room (and a decently sized one at that) for all 18 years of my life, the prospect of spending two full semesters in a small dorm with someone I had never met was a scary one.

What if I don’t like him? What if his side of the room is a mess? What if he goes to bed at 4AM and blasts music every night? How is this nondescript roommate questionnaire going to pair me with someone I’m actually compatible with? What if he doesn’t like me? In my mind, the negative possibilities were endless.

In one sense, these fears are reasonable. Since you don’t have many (or any) friends at your new school before the year starts, it makes sense to want to have a perfect relationship with your roommate. Couple that desire with the seemingly random roommate pairing process at many schools, and it’s easy to get anxious.

However, in my experience these fears are oftentimes unfounded. Here are a few reasons why:

You Don’t Have to Be BFFs 
While it may not seem so beforehand, making friends in college is not too hard. That said, it’s not imperative that you and your roommate are best friends for life. Being friends with your roommate certainly doesn’t hurt, but if you aren’t super close, you’ll still be able to easily develop a solid friend group. Plus, sometimes it’s good to look outside your dorm for friendship, since it forces you to expand your horizons and get out to meet people!

Closeness Breeds Compatibility 
Even if there are certain factors that may seem to hinder your compatibility with your roommate, the fact of the matter is that most people are perfectly capable of living with each other. Barring extreme circumstances, most people can get along when they have to.

Additionally, the more you spend time living with your roommate, the more you two can figure out how to room together effectively. As long as you’re nice about it, making small requests like turning the music down or cleaning up the room a bit are likely to help out your situation without harming the room dynamic. Good communication is key – when communication lines are healthy and open, little annoyances can easily be prevented from turning into bigger problems.

(Yes) New Friends 
One overlooked thing about having a roommate is that even if you two aren’t very close, you’ll still get introduced to his or her friends. For me – someone who was friendly with, but not best friends with, my roommate – it was fun getting to know my roommate’s friends and hang out with them in our room. It’s easy to get caught up just in your own friend group, so spending time with my roommate’s friends was a nice change of pace. The ironic thing is that even though I didn’t end up being great friends with my roommate (something I had worried about), I ended up making more friends because of him!

Overall, going into college can be a nerve-wracking time for a lot of people. However, worrying about your freshman roommate is an unnecessary expenditure of worry. Hey, you’ll both be mature, responsible, college-ready adults, and even if you seem different, I’m confident you’ll be able to make it work.

Do you still need to help with your college applications? We can help! Visit our College Admissions website and fill out our FREE Profile Evaluation for personalized feedback on your unique background! And as always, be sure to follow us on Facebook, YouTube, Google+, and Twitter!

By Aidan Calvelli.