When you’re in high school, one of the many things you look forward to other than prom and graduation.. is getting accepted into college! College can be scary, intimidating and even exciting. When I entered college, I didn’t really get any “insight” or advice from anyone. I plunged into my freshman year alone and had to figure out all the hard things by myself. Here are 10 tips I have for any high school seniors that are entering college, or even current college students! I plan on taking these tips well into graduate school! Here they are..
1. Do not choose your classes unless you’ve been on Rate My Professor! (via www.ratemyprofessor.com): When you’re in high school, you don’t get the luxury to pick who your teacher is. This website is complete genius. It rates the professor from easiness, helpfulness, down to clarity. This gives you the opportunity to steer away from the bad teachers.. the ones who grade hard, seem to always be in a bad mood or the ones who can’t teach. Ever since I’ve discovered this website, my journey through college has been much smoother! (And easier!)
2. Pick classes that fit your schedule: I tried to keep my regular high school time schedule by taking morning classes until one semester, I kept missing class because I registered for a 7am class. I realized that there was no way I could force myself to wake up every morning to take a class I wasn’t interested in.. and actually enjoy it! I took night classes and I passed with a 4.0 GPA. Remember, you have leniency is college so you can pick the days AND times you choose to be in school.
3. If you need help, ASK FOR HELP!: Being in college, I thought of myself as the big girl.. I could do whatever I wanted and however I wanted without the help of mommy and daddy or school staff. I was WRONG! For the longest time, I didn’t know how to calculate a college GPA with units or quarter units. I started registering for classes I didn’t need. I thought I was capable of doing whatever I wanted.. just because I was in college. Newsflash! You’re only capable of doing so much.. you need to ask for help once in awhile.
4. Visit your counselor as much as you can: In college, your counselor is your other best friend. They hold ALL the answers to whatever you need.. graduation requirements, prerequisite info, transfer info, etc. They’re even there if you want to just talk or vent.
5. Steer away from the “Freshman 15”: Because of the freedom I had, I was able to go to fast food chains for its extreme convenience. I didn’t have my mom’s homemade cooking and I wasn’t a chef myself so I constantly bought out. I gained the freshman “10” and I had to work it off 5 times harder than usual in my ballet class. Just because its easier doesn’t mean its better. Take time and cook yourself a nice dinner. If you can’t cook, invite friends over that can cook or make simple meals: macaroni and cheese, a sandwich or even salad. Anything is better than eating out! Not only is it unhealthy, but those $5 value meals can add up and your bank account will slowly decrease.
6. Don’t pull out student loans: I thought I was set for life when I pulled out student loans. Do your research! They have grants which is free money for college that you don’t have to pay back. There are also lots of scholarships you can apply to. Before college, I thought if you didn’t have money, you HAD to pull out student loans. My sophomore and junior year of college, I’ve had the help of grants and scholarships to fund my tuition and books. It’s easy to research and even easier to apply. You will end up getting SOMETHING. My first time around, I received $500 in a scholarship I won for writing a one page essay about my role model. I took that $500 and bought my books.
7. If you’re short of cash.. don’t buy your books! RENT THEM!: I use to dish out HUNDREDS of dollars every semester (twice a year) just so I could buy books that I never intended to keep. I’ve found dozens of websites where you can rent your books for the semester! They ship them to you within 2-5 days and you mail them back when the semester is done. Because of these websites, I’ve saved myself hundreds of dollars a year.
8. Find a study buddy: This one will be simple.. If you find a study buddy at the start of the class, this will be your buddy throughout your entire college years. Not only that but whatever you’re studying, you’ll be able to see a 2nd, 3rd and even 4th perspective. They’ll even give you insight on how to study certain items. My study buddies came in handy when I studied Human Anatomy and Physiology.. Now they’re going to be my future bridesmaids!
9. Call home more than often, appreciate your parents/guardians!: My parents provided for me the best way they could. They sent me to the college of my dreams. When I moved out, I thought I had my freedom.. I rarely called home because I wanted to get the best college experience ever imaginable but I let my parents stay up all night waiting for a phone call from their youngest daughter. I felt bad because I never considered my parents’ feelings when I moved out. Now, not only do they get a phone call or text but we webcam multiple times a week, its great! All I’m saying is.. don’t forget about the people who’ve helped you get into college.
10. Before you turn in any assignment.. proofread, proofread.. PROOFREAD!: The difference between high school and college is detail. In high school, I use to get away with tiny mistakes. Sure, it’d be marked on my paper but it wouldn’t affect my grade. In college, you WILL get marked down and it WILL affect your grade. College professors are similar to hawks.. they don’t miss out on anything! I thought I could get away with making my font size 12.5 to make my paper look longer.. that didn’t work. One time, I even noticed that I spelled my name wrong. Something so simple like not putting page numbers with your last name in MLA format, heavily affects the weight of your grade. Sometimes sentences don’t flow and it doesn’t make sense. Get a second opinion! Go to the writing center at your school and have someone take a look at it. Don’t turn anything in unless it’s your absolute best work.
With these 10 tips, I hope incoming college freshman or current college students can benefit. These are my top 10 tips and advice I wish someone told me about! Good luck!