One thing that is true for college-bound high school seniors. No matter whether they are at home or on campus, there will be challenges in the transition from high school to college. Some will be academic; others will be social. Still others will be something completely different. Using my personal Facebook page, I asked friends if they would give me one or two sentences to describe their most difficult challenge in their transition from high school to college. I realize that most of the people I asked are around my age (60). But these observations are relevant today.
Here are a few academic challenges that friends faced in moving from high school to college.
The hardest for me was learning that professors and TAs really don’t teach. You have to learn to teach yourself. With regard to majors, I think it is appropriate to steer college freshmen to either technical or arts. Once that line of demarcation is established, most major in both paths have many general courses that will prepare for a major down the road.
Because I had such good music training in high school, I passed out of all my first year courses except for my major. I had to learn to practice effectively. Five hours of ineffective practicing a day not only didn’t help, it made things more difficult. I had a lot of catching up to do in that area.
My problem started freshman year when I didn’t take any AP exams in HS (because the college told me it was unnecessary), and was placed in several classes that were far too easy for me. So I didn’t even have to show up and I still aced the classes. Then sophomore year was horrible because I’d gotten into the bad habit of not going to classes, and by sophomore year I had to, so I started to tank. Took some real fast growing up to get back on track!
Learning about myself, I thought I was into science. But I was wrong: I was into technology. It took 2 years to figure it out. It’s easy to get “A” grades in college if you’re studying something you love, if you’re barely passing, you need to assess just how much you like what you are studying, if you don’t enjoy it, find a new major. The reward is the degree — what you majored in is less important.
Need help on the journey to college? Contact me at email@example.com or call me at 609-406-0062.
Want to know more about me? Check out these podcasts!
Listen to my talk, College Is A Learning AND Living Community, hosted by Dr. Cynthia Colon from Destination YOUniversity on Voice of America Radio!
Listen to my talk, What Exactly Is a Good College? hosted by test-prep experts Amy Seeley and Mike Bergin on Tests And The Rest!
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