Adjusting to college: Academic version

Caitlin Husted, Staff Writer

Going off to college is one of the most exciting times a person can experience. You meet new people, join new activities and most importantly, open yourself up to a different kind of education.

Academically, the shift from high school to college is difficult. The tests are harder, the essays are longer and the homework is more intense and time consuming. However, there are always some tips on how to make the academic adjustment to college easier.

First, go to class. It’s easy to wake up for your 8 a.m. on a Friday morning, look at the clock and decide to instead pull the covers over your head and sleep. However, for every class you skip, you miss a lecture of your teacher explaining a new concept that will eventually end up on a test or as a prompt for an essay. If you decide to spend more time out of class than in class, you’ll find yourself falling behind and having a difficult time studying for exams.

Second, don’t be afraid to ask for help. The professors at Millikin want you to succeed. Their ultimate goal is to have you pass their class, so if you go to them and express your confusion, they will be more than happy to help explain the topic better to you. Along with talking to professors, you can always find help from your peers. We’re all in this together, right?

Third, take care of yourself. College is a time where no one is checking up on you. Your parents aren’t there to make sure you’re going to bed on time, eating your vegetables and getting at least a little exercise a day. It’s up to you to keep your body healthy. And when your body is healthy, you mind is healthy, which makes learning new material easier. So make sure you eat at least a few healthy meals, get enough sleep, exercise and drink plenty of water. You’ll be surprised by the effect these have on your academic life.

Fourth, don’t be afraid to say no. When coming to college, everything is new and exciting. There are a plethora of opportunities to explore, but not nearly enough time. So, instead of being involved in everything that looks interesting try picking one or two to start out with. This way you will be able to focus on these two activities and give it your all. You’ll be surprised about how rewarding it is to only focus on a few things rather than being involved with everything.

Lastly, try resisting any procrastination habits. It’s easy to push back that 10 page paper until the night before its due, but at what cost? You’re stressed out, sleep deprived and not allowing your brain the time to focus on the project. Now, this doesn’t mean you have to have your assignments done two weeks in advance. It just means that begin the assignment as soon as it’s assigned. Start with just brainstorming the first few nights, then move to research, outlining and actually doing the project. Only focusing on it for an hour or two a night is less intimidating than saying, “I’m going to sit down and write this all in one sitting.”

While these are some tips to help with the academic adjustment to college, you’re going to find your own adjustments as you go along. No one knows you better than you. So remember to figure out your own tips and tricks to make the adjustment from high school to college, and have a great semester.