Take Advantage of Free Services
As the college admissions season approaches, students are prepping themselves to succeed academically, financially, socially, and emotionally.
Whether you’re thinking about attending college or already enrolled, here are seven tips to get you off on the right foot.
Many colleges offer services such as tutoring, mentorship programs, and academic advising for free to incoming freshmen. Make sure to take advantage of these resources as early as possible.
Taking advantage of these services means that you don’t have to spend any money on them. They are designed to help you prepare for success once you arrive on campus.
Create an Academic Plan
It’s important to develop a plan for yourself going into college. Think about what classes you would like to take, what courses you’d like to major in, and what extracurricular activities you’ll pursue. This gives you the ability to focus on one subject area and to prepare for specific goals after graduating.
While you may not know exactly what you want to study until you go through college, think about what makes you excited about the class/subject you’re interested in. If you like history or biology, maybe you should focus on those subjects in school. Maybe you’re interested more in English literature and writing. Whatever it is, you’ll probably find that your interests change over time.
When developing your plan, remember to include both short term and long term goals. Short term goals include things like taking AP classes and applying for scholarships. Long term goals include going to graduate school or working toward a master’s degree.
Focus on Learning & Networking Early
College years are the perfect time to learn and network. This is especially true for recent graduates. Don’t let the responsibilities of being a full-time student overwhelm you. Use the time you have left to learn, explore, and grow.
Set aside some time each week to learn something new. Find a professor or tutor who specializes in your field. Attend a community service organization event that allows you to connect with others in your field.
Take opportunities to explore new places and culture. Travel somewhere new and see the sights. Meet new people and make lasting connections. Build your resume and expand your professional networks.
Be Open to New Opportunities
With college comes the opportunity to explore many new experiences. While you’re busy focusing on academics, it would be smart to open your eyes to new possibilities.
Be willing to take risks. Explore a course or activity that seems interesting but scary, like public speaking. Participate in volunteer organizations. Consider joining clubs focused on international travel, sports, computer science, or entrepreneurship.
Openness to new opportunities will set you apart from other applicants.
Staying healthy isn’t just about eating well. It’s also about preparing physically. As a freshman, chances are you’ll be spending most of your time studying, sleeping, and socializing. This leaves little time for physical exercise.
Make fitness a priority. Exercise doesn’t have to be intense or extreme. Even walking five miles per week can improve health and prevent injuries later in life.
Consider signing up for a gym membership. Many universities have wellness centers where you can receive personal training and various other services for free.
Get moving and stay active. Don’t wait for spring break to hit the slopes. Go hiking, biking, camping, swimming, or doing anything else outdoors.
Mentorship is essential for developing successful college careers. Finding mentors is key to starting off on the right track.
Start searching for potential mentors online. Join LinkedIn groups related to your field. Talk to professors and advisors who have been there before. Ask fellow classmates and peers for advice.
Being connected with other professionals will give you additional perspective and valuable perspectives.
Prepare for Grad School
Graduate schools require different types of research. For example, medical school requires extensive hands-on experience, whereas law school focuses on memorization. If you’re serious about pursuing graduate studies, talk to alumni and current grad students in your chosen field to understand what they do and what their experiences were like.
Find out what kind of schooling you’ll need to apply for graduate school. Graduate school admissions usually require several letters of recommendation, transcripts, essays, and test scores. Apply early so you can address any gaps in your application.
Getting started early will save you time and frustration down the line. Remember, the earlier you begin, the better chance you have at getting accepted.
The sooner you start preparing for college, the quicker you’ll reach graduation and the greater likelihood you’ll enjoy your college experience. We hope this article has given you helpful information and inspiration to strive towards greatness.
We wish you good luck on your journey!