By Guest Writer: Chloe Bierut

Chloe participated in a two week shadow program at AKHIA prior to her high school graduation. 

While I am not yet a college student, I have a fairly strong knowledge of the stark differences between high school and college and what it takes to transition smoothly from one to the other. Though high school has prepared us for the academics coming our way, it can be tough to transition from a world where your day-to-day schedule is completely mapped out for you to one in which you have the full freedom to decide what you do at each moment. Here are some steps you can take now to ensure that the first few weeks of college run smoothly and without chaos.

Start Making Your Own Schedules Now- Though class schedules in high school are strict and pre-set by a guidance counselor or another administrator, it is not too early to start mapping out a schedule for projects, studying, and homework. Since professors won’t be giving you reminders when homework, projects and papers are due, it’s important to practice creating your own agenda so that once you get to college, making one from what’s stated on your syllabus is a breeze.

Get to Know Your Roommate- Getting to know your roommate before the year begins can help take away the fear of living with someone you’ve never met. Finding a roommate on Facebook in your university’s Facebook group that you share similar interests with can ensure that you get a roommate whose ideas, hobbies, and interests align with your own. There are even popular websites like this one that help you find a roommate that you’ll be compatible with. Because the website’s survey asks questions about your sleeping, studying, and lifestyle habits, you’ll be sure to find someone that will work for you.

Live in a Learning Community- Many colleges and universities offer first-year students the opportunity to live in a learning community based around majors, common interests, activities, and classes. These communities allow first-year students to live and take classes with other students who have similar interests and goals, as well as easily make friends and get to know new people quickly. Learning communities typically require students within the communities to take a class that corresponds with the theme of the group. These courses can be anything from classes about leadership and service to arts and culture. Being involved in a learning community gives you the possibility of living and learning with like-minded individuals while also growing in your knowledge of a new subject area.

Ask Around- Finally, if you know others around you who have made the transition from high school to college, ask them what their number one tip for making the change is, and see if they would do anything differently. Asking those who know you best can make sure that their tips for you are personalized and pertain well to your situation.

What are your tips for transitioning from high school to college?