Meghan Lupo, student author
Senior year is perhaps your busiest, challenging, and most rewarding year as a high school student. All the work you have put in throughout the past four years has led you to this, planning for college. Although it can be overwhelming, there are things you can do in order to make this transition easier and alleviate the anxiety you may be feeling right now.
Where do I start? So, it’s begun, you’ve decided on a college, figured out housing, picked out your meal plan and maybe even started getting your textbooks for classes. It feels like you’re making huge strides in this process, but what’s next?
Next up, orientation! I get it, you may feel like it’s a waste of time, but let me emphasize how important it is in giving you the tools you need to be successful. Most colleges and universities include an orientation for students in order to help them get familiar with campus, different resources, and as a way to help start your transition with confidence. Throughout orientation make an effort to branch out, talk to new people, network, and take in all the information being shared. Know that most people sitting in this lecture are feeling the same way you are and it will be helpful to have some friends to talk to throughout this journey!
It’s go time! Orientation is over, books are purchased, and the notion that college is about to start is setting in. The days before class can seem like years, with all these fears arising. Don’t worry, once you start and get the hang of it, you’ll be pleasantly surprised. One of the most important things you should do before actually beginning is become familiar with your classes. Go over each syllabus, take a walk across campus to figure out where your classes are, and make sure all your books are packed the night before. Nothing is worse than being late for class or not having your materials!
The first week of classes may seem less than exciting. Many faculty will go over the syllabus, prepare you for the semester, and some may even begin assigning homework. It’s not so bad after all, and is quite similar to high school, with a few exceptions you need to be aware of. When you approach your first week of college think about all the things that you want to define this experience. Be adventurous, this is the chance for you to try anything your heart desires. Join a club, get engaged, and meet new friends, because part of being a college student is creating a balance outside of the classroom. Yes, you will absolutely miss home and the friends that you grew up with. Remember this, at some point in your life their with come a time when you miss college the same way you miss home right now. So get ready to start this next chapter of your life, with an open mind and positive outlook on the next four years!
Dawning realization, you aren’t in high school anymore! There are no parents, no one is telling you to go to class, and no one is reminding you to do your homework. Yes, you are adulting and are free to make you own decisions. This can actually be a little stressful part of the transition. You’ll survive it! Half the battle of college is being responsible, making sure you know what is expected of you, and staying organized so you can enjoy the ride!
I’ve got all this time and no one telling me what to do!
Ah, but do you really? I’m sure you’ve heard it before, time management is important and it is an integral tool for success. But what is time management and how does it play such a huge role your success? Time management is understanding your responsibilities and then planning accordingly so you have the appropriate amount of time to have everything completed.
Take for example your classes, the general rule is that for each credit hour you will need two or three hours outside of class each week to read, research, and study. So, if you have a three-credit hour class you need between six and nine hours per week over and above the three-hour class.
I know that sounds like a lot but let’s put this into perspective. College is much different from high school you can’t spend the night before studying an expect to pass an exam. Many college courses only have two or three exams a semester which means they cover a lot of material. You don’t want to fall behind, so making sure you make time for out-of-class work and manage your time is important.
Another important topic is the structure of your classes, this correlates with time management in that unlike high school, your classes vary depending on the day and semester. Some will run for an hour, while others may be three hours. This is something that will greatly impact your time management because although we all love having only one class on Monday at 10am and then going home to nap, it’s probably best that you use that time to more productively to complete assignments and study.
Enjoy the ride! For all the time you’ll spend studying, writing papers, and completing labs, take time to enjoy this experience. From football games, clubs, to meeting new friends there is an array of opportunities that can aid in your college experience. Don’t spend all of your time stressed over the little things that won’t matter in a year. Your college days will bring about some of the best times in your life, as well as friends and memories that will last a lifetime. This transition can be overwhelming but by planning ahead, managing your time, and enjoying it you’ll learn to love and embrace each step throughout the process!
Meghan Lupo is a senior currently enrolled at Northwood University where she is pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Business administration with a major in Marketing. Throughout her college career she was hesitant about solidifying her decision to pursue business, but the decision became very easy after a few business classes that left a lasting impression on her. As a student-athlete, mentor, and someone who has experienced the trials and tribulations college entails she is ecstatic to be a part of our team and share her journey with others in order to help them grow, excel, and enjoy all that college has to offer.