For most students, leaving high school to enter the world of university is an exciting and exhilarating time. In many cases, it’s the first real chance to experience life as an adult. But with new freedoms and opportunities, come new responsibilities and without the right guidance, the changeover can be a bit of a challenge. Luckily, the right strategies and tips can make the transition from high school to post secondary school comparatively easy and stress free.
Learn to Police Yourself
The temptation for making poor choices at university or college can be a bit overwhelming at first. Remember, you were heavily monitored with deadlines and assignment completion dates in high school. At university, no one will care if you skip class or hand an assignment in late. As an adult, you are responsible for making your own good choices, so be vigilant and take ownership of your decisions. Take the first semester or two off from excessive extracurricular activities to determine your work-load and see how much free time you will likely have moving forward. After prioritizing, it will be easier to find the time to do the things you want to do and you may find new activities to spark your interest.
No one ever said it was going to be easy. But that doesn’t mean you can’t ask for advice or seek counsel from those who have been through it to help prepare yourself before you go. Talk to people who have gone through university before you, like alumni or a recent graduate from your home-town. Ask them about their experience and if they can share any tips or advice on how to balance everything. Ask questions like “What did your typical day look like?” or “How many hours a week did you invest in homework?” Getting some real world answers to these questions can help you determine where to set your own goals and be prepared before you even set foot on campus.
Use Parental Support
If you’re lucky enough to have parental support, use it. Ask them questions and determine what their expectations are before you even finish your applications. You want to be have open and adult conversations to make sure that you are all on the same page about what your post-secondary career and experience will look like. If you are still not sure about what to do (even a couple of years into your schooling), it might be that investing in a career coach is a good idea as well. The right coach may be able to provide that extra help and insight that you may need on top of what your typical guidance counselor can provide and can help you navigate unchartered waters more effectively. In many cases, this small investment saves you and your parents thousands of dollars down the road by helping you focus your efforts and time more effectively.
The trick to successfully leaving high school and thriving in post secondary school is all about finding the right balance. Getting bogged down with structure, schedule and a strict regimen may not be the healthiest option as it robs you of the university experience. Seek advice from those who have been there, and consider the benefits of using a coach to help guide you. University is an exciting time in your life. Learn to find the balance between academics and activities you enjoy and you’ll be happier and more successful at both.