Getting Ready for College: A Guide for High Schoolers
The online middle school and high school experience can prepare students for many of the challenges of college. Entering college with certain study and life-management skills will help you tackle challenges head-on, so you can make the most of the college experience. Consider the tips below for getting ready for the admission process and sharpening your skills!
One thing you can do now to help ensure you are admitted to the college of your dreams is to build a college portfolio. Begin by exploring your interests and getting involved in your school and community. Be sure to document your participation and accomplishments. These activities and the process of building a college portfolio may even help you decide on a college major. Follow our step-by-step guide, and when it’s time to apply for your dream college, your college portfolio will help you show admissions officers how you stand out from the crowd.
Being organized doesn’t just mean your work space is tidy. Organization can also mean keeping up with your computer maintenance, organizing your file names, and otherwise always knowing where to find your class materials, resources, and more. Developing an organizational system for your notes, assignments, and more will come in handy when you are expected to be independent in college.
Are you an early bird, a multitasker, a helper? Identifying your time management style early on will help you determine how you should schedule your time in college. Once you’ve determined how you typically tend to handle your time, and what works best for your learning, create a schedule for yourself. Assess how this schedule worked after the first month. Make tweaks based on what worked and what didn’t, and carry these skills to college with you.
With college comes more independence, in and out of the classroom. When it comes to your schoolwork, however, this can be a big adjustment if you haven’t developed independent study skills. You’ll also be expected to self-monitor your progress toward reaching your personal goals. Take control of your education now by establishing your own routines, getting rid of distractions when you should be working, and focusing yourself when it’s time to buckle down. You can also build your independence by finding a job, getting your driver’s license, and discussing major life decisions with your family.
Along with the independence of college comes the expectation of money management. Being able to save your money is something that takes practice, but it will be worth it! No matter how you’re planning to fund college, it’s a great idea to start saving now. This will help you hone your budgeting skills before you get to college. First, establish a savings goal for yourself, and create a plan. This can include opening a college savings account, taking out a portion of your paychecks or allowance each month, and establishing a spending budget.
Knowing what you want out of your college experience, and where you hope to end up afterward, will help you spend your time wisely in college. By completing your college portfolio in the link at the top of this post, you will be well on your way to understanding your skills and passions, which will help you choose a college major. It might also be helpful to take a college major quiz to help you narrow down your options and reflect on your goals. Another factor to be aware of is whether or not the colleges you visit are the right fit for your personality and your goals.
With the ability to take charge of your learning, virtual school can help you build significant “college survival skills” as you continue your education. Continue actively honing each of these valuable skills, and you can be ahead of the learning curve from your first day on campus! What other skill-enhancing tips do you have for future college students? Share your ideas in the comments.