Preparing for Your First Steps onto Campus

For many seniors, the first half of the new year is one of the most stressful times in their high school career. There’s a lot to think about: scholarships, paying for tuition, researching and applying to colleges, and writing essays. This is only just a snippet of the many things that seniors have to do in order to get ready for college in the fall, and it can seem like a lot, even if all the logistical details have been sorted out and applications have been submitted. With graduation quickly approaching, there’s a lot of stress on seniors’ minds as they begin to make their first steps toward college. Although it all seems like a long struggle to get through, along with homework from high school, it doesn’t have to be! This article will offer some advice to help you, as a senior (and even underclassmen, too!), relieve stress as you progress towards graduation, and potentially develop some good habits for college!

An often useful way to deal with the stress that comes with high school and college is by setting aside time to relax and decompress. After you get home from school or your after-school activity, take a couple minutes to rest and de-stress yourself. Maybe watch YouTube or talk with friends a little, anything to get your mind off of school- and college-related matters. Especially when you go to college, it’s good to allow yourself some time to spend to yourself or with friends during the week or on the weekend. That way, you’ll have a lot better focus the following day when you get back to work!

Another important habit to get into is using a calendar. It can either be digital or physical, but whichever you choose, using a calendar will definitely help you keep organized and informed on important deadlines and due dates for college and high school. Including a daily agenda is also useful to organize your time on a day-to-day basis. Structuring your day and your month will provide you with a better idea of what things need to get done and how you can complete them, which will make things run a lot faster, giving you a clear line of priorities. Another important tool is using alarms that remind you of tasks you have to do on a daily basis. With these, you’ll have a lot more free time to relax and spend time with friends!

One thing that some high school students are afraid of doing is asking too many questions to their teachers and professors, or even asking at all. This is understandable given that they don’t want to slow their teachers down or interfere with their schedule. However, teachers want you to ask questions! It’s their job to answer them! It may not seem like it shows, but they would prefer you to ask questions so that you can do better in their class, and it also gives them an opportunity to know you and your abilities better. As an added bonus, the relationship you build with your teacher could potentially act in your benefit in the future, opening new academic opportunities based on their high opinions of you. This applies for high school as well! Building that relationship with your teachers will both help you with your issues in the short-term, and in the long-term with scholarship and special recommendations. So by all means, ask those questions!

Make sure you get in the habit of checking assignments and due dates. In college, your professors will tell you when an assignment is due and when tests are going to be held, but oftentimes will not remind you leading up to that date. For us, we have a useful tool on Schoology that reminds us of upcoming assignments and events that does the reminding for us. If you’re lucky, your professor may have an online calendar that you can look at for your class. However, this is not always the case, so it’s good to get in the habit of checking the due dates of assignments and keeping track of them in your calendar. Planning out how you will complete that assignment will also keep you reminded and will help you get the assignment done on time.

Finally, the most important thing you should do in these last few months: just have a good time! This is the last year you are going to be spending in high school, so try to enjoy it! Go hang out with your friends, discover new places, try new things! Make this the year to remember and go out with a bang!

We hope that this article has provided a few useful tips for mentally preparing yourself for college. If you have doubts or worries, that’s completely fine! Everyone is worried to some degree, and if you have any questions, be sure to ask your parents or your guidance counselor for more details. Remember: you got this!

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