The initial transition from high school to college is something that is both dreaded and embraced. Enduring the drastic changes that take effect after the move into the dormitories occurs can sometimes be tough because of the freedom that comes with it. While college is something that most teenagers dream about in order to further their education and secure a better opportunity for employment, freshman year has some challenges that take some discipline to overcome. With some guidance, the first year of college can be both fun and educating helping to form the rest of the student’s college career.

Transition from High School and Knowing the Material

In high school, students are closely monitored by the faculty and staff in order to make sure that the student body as a whole proves to be productive. Upon entrance to college, the first major change occurs in that exact category. College professors aren’t concerned with students’ grades, participation, or even attendance to lectures. The student is at sole discretion for making sure the material is learned and asking questions if it’s not. Unlike high school where the material may need to be known for State exams or placement tests, in college, the professors are teaching to provide information for knowledge. If the student chooses to not pay attention, they’re only hurting themselves, because they are the ones that need to know it, in order to apply it to aspects of their life and future career. If they don’t, someone else will, and employers will simply bypass them and move on to the person that knows the material.

That simple fact is one of the most important aspects to college, and should be understood early on in order to start down the correct path. Some kids may take to partying too much and have no regard for the material, which can hurt them down the road. That leads to the second point; attendance.

The First Year: Tips for College FreshmanAttendance and Learning Habits

Another important thing for students to get in the habit of doing is to go to class. Students think: “no one is making me go, so I can skip today.” This is the wrong attitude to take. If they get in the habit of skipping classes or oversleeping, rituals are formed and it becomes too easy to take the day off. It’s important to be present for the material, because often, teachers cover material quickly, without stopping for people that don’t understand previous concepts. If the student misses a class, this will have direct effects on the rest of the semester. Although it is possible to learn the material on their own, it is a lot easier to have an expert explain what they want you to know. They’re the ones that make the tests. Also, it’s not free, the student pays for it. It seems irresponsible to waste money that pays for the class.

Keeping Priorities in Line and Finding the Right Time to Relax

Keeping priorities straight is something that people encounter throughout their entire lives. College is a perfect time to start practicing, as it’s the first time students are away from home and given the opportunity to run their own lives. The first time they encounter a stress overload; there will be a re-evaluation of their schedules, because no one likes enduring too much work. It makes the mind wander. College has a reputation for partying. While no one can stop it, it can be regulated. Each student is going to seek friends in order to help maintain a personal social life and form networking relationships that can last forever, and there’s nothing wrong with that, but partying needs to be regulated. Many students let classes and homework escape from their minds if they get into “party-mode,” and when it’s time for the work to be due, they either don’t do it, or rush to complete it, giving in to material that’s not up to their ability due to time pressure. There’s a time for everything, and during the time that classes are scheduled and work needs to be done, is not the time for partying. Students should get into the habit of getting their work completed before going out becomes an option. It’s all too easy to drop the work and go out for some fun. Getting it done leaves a clear head and lots of time for fun.

Procrastination and Its Negative Effects

Finally, don’t get into the habit of procrastination. Procrastination is when students continuously put something off until it gets down to the time that it needs to be turned in and they have to rush to complete it. It’s easy for students to fall into because of the activities going on around them, but taking the necessary steps to complete workloads in a timely manner ensures that there won’t be any procrastination and makes sure that there’s other time to do the activities that they want to do.

Following these tips won’t guarantee a perfect semester or outstanding grades, only the student can do that, but it is a good place to start. Choosing the right path in life after students are out of their parents’ direct influence can be tough, but with guidance, doesn’t have to be impossible.