The best preparation for a rewarding college experience is following a proven plan while in high school. While there are countless things you can do to help ensure going to college goes well, here are 5 worthwhile ways to make your transition to college easier, less stressful, and a lot more enjoyable.
What You Do Now Matters
After a semester in college, most first-year college students will admit to one universal truth: College is challenging, no matter how smart you are...or think you are.
For some, the tough part about going to college is time management – no one but you will be in charge of waking you up in the morning. For others, going to college is about learning to master complex knowledge at a pace faster than you've ever done before.
Knowing all that, let's review 5 proven ways to build a foundation for college success.
1. Choose a College That Fits You
College advisors will tell you that college fit is key to how well you do in college. Your first step in going to college is to make enough college visits that your choice is compatible with your academic, social, and career goals.
For example, health care and health science careers are expanding rapidly, so if you're excited about working in that field, make sure your college choice offers degree programs that are in step with what employers want.
2. Develop and Polish Your Soft Skills
It's easy to fall in love with accumulating hard skills like mastering an impressive list of software. In college, and especially in the workforce, it's soft skills that will make the difference. One study predicts that nearly 70 percent of all jobs will rely on soft skills by 2030.
Here's a partial list of soft skills that you'll need to achieve success in college and are highly valued by employers:
- Active listening
- Collaborative attitude
- Communicating effectively
- Creative thinking
- Conflict resolution
- Positivity and open-mindedness
- Learning from criticism
Realize that your opinion of yourself is not always accurate. That's why your plans for going to college should include asking others for feedback about your soft skill abilities in addition to your other skills.
3. Use Your Available Time Wisely
Like it or not, one of the most significant factors in college achievement is time management. You'll face all kinds of options. Some will be more fun; some not-so-fun, but more important.
The core elements of using your time wisely include:
- Preparing a schedule and sticking to it
- Setting priorities according to the level of importance
- Establishing boundaries, such as placing limits on time spent on social media
- Following project and assignment timelines - no procrastinating.
Remember, going to college is an investment in your future. To get the most from that investment of time and money, you'll want to combine your best efforts with behaviors that support achievement, not detract from it.
4. Know How to Meet Expectations
Before you get on-campus, get used to the idea that college-level expectations are much higher than high school. Taking extensive in-class notes, reviewing the class syllabus, doing daily readings, and extensive chapter reviews are critical to academic success.
For every class you plan to take, make sure you fully understand the instructor's expectations. You don't want to be preparing for a multiple-choice test when you should be ready to write essay-based answers that cover the how and why.
5. Discover and Use Student Services
In high school, you probably did OK with on your own. In college, you'll want to stay on track for graduation by using as many of the college's student support services as possible.
While every university is different, some of the services and resources that will make going to college a more satisfying experience will include:
- Financial aid staff to guide you to opportunities for grants, scholarships, and federal loan options
- Academic advising for selecting courses and labs
- Joining or starting subject-specific study groups
- Assistance with tutoring, test-taking skills and learning style assessment
- Career preparation, including student memberships in professional organizations
- Setting up internships and other real-world learning opportunities
The bottom line is this: you don't want to only survive in college – you want to thrive in it. Your college degree can be the launch pad for a career that fulfills your wildest dreams. Check out this list of tips to help you maximize your college experience.
Find Your Way to College Success at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, health-care focused university located in the Kansas City area suburb of Overland Park, Kansas.
The CUKC curriculum structure gives you control over your education by providing standard, accelerated and online versions of our degree and certification programs, from basic accreditation to the doctorate level.
The CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic degree program can be completed in less than three-and-a-half years. For those wanting to pursue careers in radiology, physical therapy, nursing or other areas of health care, CUKC offers accelerated pre-professional science courses that can be completed in eight weeks and degrees that can be completed in as little as two years.
Need more information about going to college? CUKC admissions advisers are ready to answer your questions and help you to navigate your options successfully. Request more information about CUKC degree programs today!