Attending college is one of the several very important decisions you make in your lifetime, and with any important decision, being prepared is necessary. However, being prepared can mean a variety of different things. It is crucial to look at “preparedness” for college bound students in an in-depth manner: Are you physically prepared? Are you mentally prepared?
Have the requirements been met for your chosen or intended courses of study? Making a thorough check of all your prerequisites can alleviate potential back-tracking and frustration, especially if one happened to fall through the cracks.
Have you considered all the different types of expenses you will incur while away at school? Higher education is extremely pricey, and, while there are seemingly so many things to pay for, getting a full-time job is quite the undertaking when immersed in full-time study. Budgeting and reviewing all the potential expenditures beforehand can lessen some of the pressures.
Also, if you are drawing on funding from a loan, make sure that you have the proper amounts in place to cover costs as errors can occur. Here are some potential spending areas to consider:
housing and utilities (if not living on campus), food (some campuses include food pricing packages in the tuition) entertainment, clothing, transportation
It is important to make sure resources are in place to assist you with whatever issues you may have on campus, whether they are academic, financial, or personal. Being rash about the overall challenges you will face at school by not seeking out resources or assistance is unwise.
The college workload is much more substantial than what a high school program can result in. Do you have realistic expectations of these workloads? Here are some things to reflect on:
Do you have effective study habits?
How good are your writing skills and your reading comprehension? (By the way, have you read through your textbooks?)
How would your rate your test-taking skills?
Are you able to effectively manage your time?
These are basic but crucial concepts to examine yourself by. There will be resources to help you if there are areas that you need to improve on.
To everything there is a purpose. Surely, there is a purpose to your pursing higher education, and when in self-reflection, you cannot find a purpose, get one.
At this point, during your transition from high-school to the university, you should be mapping out goals for yourself. As often as it is repeated and seemingly cliche as it begins to sound, setting goals is key for your life. These goals have to be individual to your needs and desires. Answer these questions as a guideline:
What is the overall purpose to your life? What kind of a legacy do you want to leave when your life is through? (Be specific.)
What type of career do you see yourself in? What career would be realistic and sustainable? (Keep in mind that falling into the dream career doesn’t happen overnight after your college graduation. You have to have a pragmatic mindset about the changing job market and the competition.) What can you do to make money, using your degree, to further the status of your life?
Now that you have thought about your life focus and your career focus, (NOTE: your life focus should NOT be meshed with your career focus as your career could be transient) it is time to outline your educational goals.
How much effort will you put forth in each class? How successful do you see yourself at school? How do you want to finish? What is the worth of this investment to you?
Now that you have read and considered these factors on being fully prepared, can you meet the challenge of college life to be successful? There are a lot of questions that you need to ask yourself.
Unfortunately, there are students that go into the transition with low expectations of the pressures and of themselves and fail to meet the provocations. Higher education involves dealing with a lot of stress and pressure, adapting to change and being able to be molded, grown and polished.
To put plainly, after college, life’s pressures do not stop, in fact, they intensify. The privilege of college or university learning is one that should not be taken lightly, but respected. Meet the challenge, come prepared and finish with success!
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