Since everyone around you is already telling you that college is the most important thing that you’ll ever do in your life, we’re going to assume you’re a tiny bit stressed. Your parents want you to go into law or finance, your relatives want to have a doctor in the family, you have your own ideas about what you want to do, and everything is chaos. You’ll be making a big transition, so it’s important to be ready for it before you snap and kill the next person who asks you a single question about which college you want to go to, and why, and how. So, how do you get ready? Well first, grab a nice slice of pizza and a can of coke. Enjoy your rebellious moment before your mom comes and starts huffing and puffing about you eating unhealthy food all the time. Once you’ve had your moment of bliss, we can begin.
Be focused during your final year
High school is ending and everyone is probably going to be on edge. Everyone is talking about the importance of college and everyone is nervous and would much rather be playing video games or partying than cramming for tests. But since your GPA matters a lot, you need to get the highest possible grades during the last year of high school. If you’ve been slacking, now’s the time to sit down and start studying seriously. The whole process of getting into college is stressful, so it’s not a bad idea to find experienced people who can help you handle your university admissions. Ace your final year, find out all the info about the colleges that interest you, and be focused on your goals.
Explore all your options
Your parents will tell you one thing, your teacher something else. Whether you decide to study biology, literature, medicine, or law, it’s important that the choice feels right to you. Don’t be stuck on a single idea unless you’re 100% certain that it’s the best one. Do your research, check what kind of careers will be available to you after finishing university, and make a list. Write down pros and cons of each path. You won’t even know what kind of educations is available until you’ve explored a bit.
Visit the campus
If you want to get the idea of what college life will look like, visit the campus. The diversity may shock you, and you’ll be able to understand more about what you’ll be facing once you get there. Talk to the admissions officer, get a few pamphlets, and find out what kind of clubs and activities your future university offers. It’s a good way to get excited about the whole process.
Be open to new experiences
In college, you’ll meet the kind of people you’ve never dreamed of meeting, you’ll listen to fascinating lectures, and have a schedule that’s very, very different than the one you’ve had in high school. It’s both wonderful and overwhelming. Prepare for the unexpected, and be ready for that confluence of people with different beliefs and values than what you’re used to.
Learn how to manage your time
High school is easy in that sense that you kind of know what you’re supposed to be doing at any given time. Parents and teachers keep telling you what to do and when to do it, and your own schedule is directed by others. In college, no one is going to do that. You have to organize yourself and manage your own time. There won’t be so many people reminding you of what you’re supposed to do, and if you miss a deadline there will be more repercussions. So, start writing things down and always have a plan for the day if you want to stay productive and successful.
Learn how to manage your finances
Colleges are expensive. They’re more expensive than you can dream of, and even if your parents are paying for everything, you still need to be aware that it’s a pretty huge money drain. If you’re there on scholarship things will be a bit easier, but the lifestyle can still get pretty expensive. Learn how to take care of your own finances and stay within a budget, especially if you’ll have to pay off student loans in the future.
Look, college isn’t all about studying. You’ll learn more about the world, about people, and about yourself. Take this time to explore and have fun, and stay passionate about what you study. Everything else will fall into place.