As soon as you start your freshman year in the university, you’ll be faced with countless challenges. Getting accepted into college is an accomplishment, but it is only one of the many steps you’ll need to take in order to succeed.
The good news is: there are habits you can develop and continue to practice in preparation for the challenges of college life.
The value of pre-college preps
But first: Before you can develop good habits that will serve you during your college years, it is essential that you establish a strong foundation for success in advance.
The best way to achieve your goals in college is to prepare for college way before you enter the university. While in high school, you can get help from the experts who can help you make smarter decisions about your higher education plans.
By working with college application consultants, you can get expert help every step of the way, including:
- Assessing your current situation and future academic goals.
- Establishing an organized system to identify and plan the schools that suit your skills and preferences.
- Preparing and submitting winning applications on time.
- Acing your college admissions interview.
- Finding the best college options, from the institution to the course to study, that matches your goals and capabilities.
Once you find the right college for you, college goals such as developing good habits become easier to achieve.
Habits to achieve your college #goals
It’s important for you to develop good habits early on to have a successful college experience. As an incoming freshman, here are five good habits you should develop.
1. Establish your priorities
When you’re so accustomed to high school life, it may become hard for you to really visualize what college life will be like. The independence needed to cope with different class requirements and strictly following your personal study schedule are some of the things you need to consider.
College is a process of preparing for your future career. You should make it a habit to set priorities, and create and follow a schedule to manage your school workload. Make a list of your priorities from the most urgent projects to those that are due later.
This way, you can tackle them one at a time and reduce stress arising from the pressure of wanting to finish them all at once.
- Plan ahead. The brain can’t handle things all at once. Overloading your mind with things to remember will only trigger stress. And before you know it, your stress may become unmanageable so you end up making mistakes, and missing assignments and projects.
- Have a planner. Have a checklist of things you should bring to college. Create or buy an academic planner to help you stay organized. List down due dates for projects, assignments and many others. Make sure to stick to your planner and finish your work before the deadline. While you’re at it, you can also create backup alarms using your smartphone calendar app.
- Break down big tasks into smaller ones. Writing a 12-page research paper and preparing for a huge exam at the same time can be difficult. Planning ahead means you have time to break down these huge tasks into smaller, manageable chunks so that they seem less daunting.
You can also follow these valuable tips on how to adjust to college life.
2. Participate, get involved
Don’t show up in class just to get your attendance checked. Involve yourself by participating in class discussions.
When you go to college, large lecture halls may appear intimidating to you. Practice the habit of engaging yourself during lectures. This will help you get a better grasp of learning. If there’s a vacant seat in front, occupy it.
Grab the opportunity to sit close to the professor for you to feel more present. You shouldn’t take part just because you want to dominate discussions or to help you get a better grade. Choose to speak out for the sake of engaging yourself.
Foster relationships with professors. A close mentoring relationship with a professor is advantageous as he or she can provide you some guidance as you go about your college education.
3. Challenge yourself
When you get into college, be on the lookout for opportunities. Take some challenging classes to expose yourself to new fields. Be open to new things. The world is too big for you to confine yourself to the things you already know.
Branch out and try everything you can. The more you explore your interests, the earlier you’ll discover your college major. Develop the habit of constantly challenging yourself; it will teach you about the value of hard work and discipline.
4. Build your portfolio
In connection to the third tip, pick activities that’ll advance your knowledge and experience. Make it a habit to save great pieces or project works you’ve done during high school. These will work to your advantage the moment you apply for college.
Your portfolio will serve as a proof of how adept you are in the course you’re applying for. This will also increase your chances of getting in a university that you want.
5. Understand how you learn
Each student has different learning abilities. While some are visual learners, others may be auditory learners. It’s important to consider what type of learner you are.
- Kinesthetic Learner – gains knowledge through feelings or experience
- Visual Learner – gains knowledge by seeing
- Auditory Learner – gains knowledge by hearing
Knowing how you learn will be beneficial to you once you start college. There will be no more spoon-feeding in college so you have to be quicker in learning new things. If you know that you are an auditory learner, grab the chance to sit in front to hear each lecture clearly.
To sum up
Every student is unique, so there really is no one-size-fits-all formula for achieving college success. But by getting expert help in finding the right college and excelling in your chosen institution by building good habits, college can be one of the best years of your life.
Brian Giroux is an experienced college admissions advisor and co-founder of Capital College Consulting. Brian is a Professional Member of Independent Educational Consulting Association (IECA). Brian has worked with students from over 30 countries to help provide guidance through the US admissions process.
Brian’s experience includes 18+ years in education serving multiple roles as educator, athletic director, and college admissions consultant.