Tran­si­tion­ing to col­lege? Here’s some ad­vice

The Covington News - - BACK TO SCHOOL - MADI­SON MOR­GAN­THALL mmor­gan­thall@cov­

It’s that time of year. It’s time to start gear­ing up for back to school.

While el­e­men­tary, mid­dle and high school stu­dents are pre­par­ing for a new school year by buy­ing school sup­plies and maybe a new out­fit or two, in­com­ing col­lege fresh­men will have plenty of ex­cite­ment and plenty to do as well.

The tran­si­tion from high school to col­lege is huge and can be very stress­ful.

Not only are stu­dents ex­pe­ri­enc­ing a new level of aca­demic rigor, they’re also in many cases leav­ing their homes, their fam­i­lies and their friends to make a new life for them­selves in a new town.

In the whirl­wind of hous­ing as­sign­ments, class sched­ules, meal plans, room­mates, ori­en­ta­tion ses­sions, new friends, new ex­pe­ri­ences and so much more, it can be all too easy for stu­dents to get distracted and over­whelmed.

There are a few things that new col­lege stu­dents can do to make their tran­si­tion and first se­mes­ter at col­lege as easy and pro­duc­tive as pos­si­ble. Watch dead­lines

The most im­por­tant, in the months and weeks prior to leav­ing, is to watch dead­lines closely. Once a stu­dent is ac­cepted and en­rolled in a school, the process is by no means over; that is when the mad­ness re­ally be­gins.

It seems like an un­real amount of forms and in­for­ma­tion must be sub­mit­ted to ar­range ev­ery­thing from hous­ing to class sched­ules. To avoid un­nec­es­sary stress and ex­tra fees, keep on top of any dead­lines that need to be met. Room­mates

For many stu­dents, mov­ing away from home means that for the first time in their lives, they will be liv­ing with some­one who isn’t fam­ily. Room­mate se­lec­tion can have a big im­pact on some­one’s col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence as a whole, so stu­dents need to weigh their op­tions when de­cid­ing whether to go ran­dom or live with some­one they al- ready know. Both sit­u­a­tions can have pros and cons, so those should be care­fully con­sid­ered.

Once a room­mate is cho­sen, com­mu­ni­ca­tion is im­por­tant. Not ev­ery­one be­comes best friends, but get­ting to know each other will make liv­ing to­gether eas­ier. Set­ting bound­aries can be help­ful in avoid­ing con­flict. Room­mates should dis­cuss is­sues such as quiet hours for the dorm room, how each feels about vis­i­tors, bor­row­ing each other’s things and other top­ics that could be­come sen­si­tive.

Room­mates also should dis­cuss what each will bring to the shared liv­ing space and how to dec­o­rate. One stu­dent may have com­pletely dif­fer­ent ideas than the other about how to fill the space.

Though things don’t have to match, co­or­di­nat­ing can pre­vent hav­ing two com­pletely dif­fer­ent styles clash in such a small space.

Di­men­sions and lay­outs of dorm rooms usu­ally can be found on the web­sites of col­leges or uni­ver­si­ties,

In­for­ma­tion about what kind of bed, desk and closet a room pro­vides can also help with plan­ning.

As far as ap­pli­ances go, dis­cuss who will bring what to pre­vent hav­ing two TVs, or no TV at all. Mak­ing con­nec­tions

Whether or not a fresh­man finds ways to get plugged in and in­volved in cam­pus life can make or break the whole ex­pe­ri­ence.

Col­leges are usu­ally swarm­ing with ac­tiv­ity and an end­less num­ber of out­lets for stu­dents.

Greek or­ga­ni­za­tions, clubs and in­tra­mu­ral sports are only a few ex­am­ples of ways to get in­volved.

While so­cial life is a huge part of the col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence, too many stu­dents for­get the whole rea­son they are go­ing to col­lege: to learn.

Classes will be much harder than they were in high school, and so study habits must be ad­justed ac­cord­ingly.

If stu­dents stay on top of things and keep pri­or­i­ties in the right or­der, then their col­lege ex­pe­ri­ence is more likely to be a suc­cess.

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