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5 Ways To Get Ready for College

by Jessica Parnell | Jun 16, 2015 | 4 min read

It’s that time of year when the emotions of saying goodbye to high school family and friends are mixed with the excitement of your future and new college life. Up until this point you have, been pushing yourself academically, studying for exams, and researching the college of your dreams. But what now? It’s on to the next academic challenge; but are you ready? Many high school graduates are handed their diploma but walk off the stage wondering if they’re actually ready for college. If you’re wondering how to get ready for college, you’re not alone and you’re in the right place. We’ve rounded up the 5 most important things to help you get ready for college life.

5 Ways To Be Ready For College

1. Make a List, and check it more than twice! If you want to get ready for college, you must start with preparing to move! Whether you plan to live on campus or not, make a list of everything you need for college now so you have time to buy the items and pack for the year. It’s surprising how quickly the summer months pass and how long it actually takes to buy and pack your college supplies. And waiting until the last minute can be incredibly stressful! So instead of procrastinating until the last week of summer, when you will want to spend those last moments with friends and family, plan ahead. Get the supplies throughout the summer months and enjoy every moment, including that last week, with your friends and family. Click here for our Ultimate Packing List of items to take to college.

2. Create a Budget. Knowing how to handle your money, from your dining card to your wallet, is an essential part of college life and beyond. Know your budget, what you can spend, and what you’ll need to save for books and tuition. While this may seem overwhelming when you’re used to being cared for, it’s empowering to save and pay for college expenses on your own. Also, by having a budget, you can save for fun activities and trips with friends without worrying about being in debt later or feeling discouraged that you missed an opportunity.

3. Know the difference between high school classes and college lectures. To get ready for college you need to start thinking and behaving like a college student. And this means knowing how to listen well and take thorough notes. Throughout your high school years, many teachers lectured by teaching the information you would need to pass a test, or they would help you along with study guides. Much of that will go away in college so you must know how to listen well in class, study and even teach yourself! According to a University in Pennsylvania, “College work requires a great deal of self-learning. Instructors expect students to learn material that is not actually presented within the confines of the classroom.” Don’t go into college expecting all of the exam questions to be discussions in the classroom. Instead, take the summer months to build your skills in becoming an independent learner and learn a solid note-taking and study method that works for your learning style. This leads us to point 4.

4. Understand how you learn best. Many students leaving for college have no idea how they learn and retain information, both of which are essential for excelling in college academics. Take a Learning Style Assessment this summer so that you know if you are a Visual, Auditory, or Kinesthetic learner. Once you find out how your brain processes information, you will understand how to take notes in your lectures, how to best study, and what sections of exams might be a struggle for you. For example, many Visual learners have a difficult time with multiple choice questions, because once they see the options they can rationalize every answer. By knowing your learning style in advance, you can combat those struggles and find a better approach to learn what you’ll need to know. Take Bridgeway’s Learning Style Assessment and get a free 101 Ways Booklet which gives helpful tips for your unique learning style.

5. Find a balance between studies and social time! Get ready for college, get ready for fun! You should and will have a lot of opportunities to make friends, be social, and get involved in college. Up until this point many parents try to keep the balance for you between school, work, home life, and social time. However, now it’s time for you to take control of your social calendar AND balance all that you let into your life. And that’s key; you don’t have to say “yes” to everything. In fact, you should often say “no.” Make a list of your priorities and think through what you want to participate in before you move into the dorm. This summer start practicing how to find a healthy balance between work, school, and social time and discuss your goals with your parents. It’s vital to learn time management skills for your work and study responsibilities, but make sure you make time for fun and get involved. Your college years will fly by!

Heading off to college is one of the most exciting times in life, but it can be unsuccessful for those who don’t prepare. Make sure to consider these 5 tips so that you can successfully get ready for college and the adult responsibilities and fun that come with it.

What are your best get ready for college tips? We would love to hear what you are doing, so please comment below!

Jessica Parnell
Hello everyone! I’m Jessica Parnell — mom, homeschool evaluator, teacher, and CEO of Bridgeway Academy. In my 20+ years of experience as a homeschool mom and evaluator, I have had the privilege of meeting homeschoolers that take a variety of approaches to their education. It is their many stories and successes that inspire me in my own homeschooling and I love to pass on the knowledge that I have gained from them to other homeschooling families. The one constant that always remains true is that there’s no such thing as a “cookie cutter child.” Each child is fearfully and wonderfully made and as a result, learns and functions differently. It’s our job to ensure that we’re raising each child to fulfill their individual purpose and when we can teach in a way that inspires them, we are on our way to homeschool success. When I’m not writing or teaching my children, I like to ski, write and participate in triathlons. I graduated from Kutztown University with a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Masters in English and I am currently pursuing a degree in Neuroleadership.
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