Congratulations on getting into college. I bet you are excited, scared, ready for the next step, and sad to see your high school friends scatter to the wind. Almost everyone is experiencing this the same way you do. So before you let anxiety set in read on and know that you’ll be okay and have a blast.
- Get ready to be tested. If your SAT/ACT scores or in some cases high school GPA are low you’ll be tested during the orientation. Students are tested to determine whether or not they are ready for the rigors of college work. There is no way to fail, but you can end up in remedial classes that can make big dents in your financial aid packet (grants and loans). To learn if you’ll get tested research the school’s cut off scores. If your scores are lower than these cutoffs you’ll get tested during orientation. For more details check-out the College Placement Tests post.
- Selecting a major. There are three scenarios for college freshmen and you are likely to fall into one of them. First, freshmen students may not know what they want to major in, and that is okay. This happens to be a quite common scenario. Second, some freshmen students know what major they want to pursue, enroll in it, only to learn later on, that they want to major in something else, and eventually change majors. This scenario is probably the most common one. Finally, the third scenario is the superman/supergirl scenario, where you know what you want to study since you were 10 and pick your major and graduate with it later on.
The point is, college is for exploration and whichever scenario you fall into it’s okay, you’ll be fine in the long run. Try to not get to anxious about picking a major. Try to complete as many general education courses as possible and explore information about different majors in the meantime. Certain decision can be delayed, and major selection is one of these decisions.
- Get Involved. One of the main purposes of college is to get to know yourself and prepare for the future. You can do this by getting involved in college activities. Orientation is coming up, so try to learn as much as possible about the clubs and activities you can get involved with and start exploring what appeals to you. Colleges have a myriad set of activities and you are sure to find something that appeals to you. Make friends and socialize, the relationships you develop in college will last you a life time. Plus, research shows that the more involved you are in college activities and with college friends the more likely you are to return for subsequent years or college and eventually graduate. So go make friends, get involved, and enjoy everything college has to offer.
- You’ll feel overwhelmed and that’s okay. College is a different ballgame than high school. And yes, the standards and expectations are very different. So it’s very likely that at one point or another you’ll get overwhelmed. It’s normal to feel overwhelmed, especially during the first semester in college. By the way, almost everyone goes through the same experience sooner or later, so hang in there. Find out what student support services the college offers in terms of tutoring, counseling, mentoring, etc. and use them. They are there for you and every college wants you to succeed.
- Am I cut out for this? Yes you are. It is very likely that at some point during this semester you’ll ask yourself this question. Think about it this way, you did well in high school and got accepted into college. Colleges don’t like to take risks and if they didn’t think that you are cut out for it they wouldn’t have admitted you. So, yes you are cut out for this. In other words, is not just you and your family that wants you to succeed the college has a vested interest in your success as well. So start asking questions around campus on what services are available and how can you use them to become successful.
- Call your parents. If you think this is hard for you, just think about how hard this is for your parents. They have been watching you grow and investing in you. Now it’s your chance to show your appreciation for everything they’ve done for you. So please plan on calling/texting your parents regularly.