The transition from high school to college is a big one for all students. Whether you are moving away to attend a four year college or university far from home, are planning to live at home and attend community college, or are putting together a schedule that combines work and school, the changes you are going to face are huge. The good news is that there is a lot you can do now to prepare yourself. Here are a few tips to consider.
1. Make sure you set up your accommodations: Accommodations are important for students attending college, community college or working. Remember to address any particular needs you have with your professors or supervisors early on. This can prevent communication difficulties later. Remember, you are entitled to your accommodations but it is your responsibility to ask for them respectfully.
2. Get your meds under control: If you take medication, be sure that you understand when to take your meds, what your proper dosage is, and how to reorder your mediation in a timely fashion. You want to make sure that you have a system in place so that when your supply starts to diminish you order in plenty of time.
3. Start Slowly: If you are in college or are taking community college classes, start slowly. Build success. There is no need to take a full course load or to overwhelm yourself. Remember that you can take your time and build the work/study schedule that works for you.
4. Eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep: Once you graduate from high school, you will have a lot more unstructured time. Use some of this time to take care of your body and mind. Good nutrition and regular exercise can make the difference between a productive day or work or classes and one that feels like a blur. Also, set a bed time that works for you and then get up at the same time every morning – eight hours after you went to bed.
5. Figure out an organizational system that works for you: Do you use your phone to keep track of assignments and/or work schedules? Or, do you prefer a planner? Do you have a white board on your wall at home because you like visual reminders of your weekly schedule? Whatever system you use, it’s imperative that it work – for you. Parents, teachers and counselors all have suggestions about how you can organize yourself and their suggestions may work for you. They also may not work for you. Now is the time to figure out what does work. Sometimes this takes awhile to determine, but now, while you are still at Sterne, is the time to experiment and settle on a system that makes sense for you.
Submitted by: Rebecca Field, Sterne High School College Counselor