Her Campus Logo Her Campus Logo
High School

How To Prepare For College As A High School Graduate

Making the big leap from high school to college can be pretty intimidating. You might be going to a school where you don’t know anyone. You might be going out of state or maybe even out of the country. This might be the first time you’re away from your family for an extended period of time. Whatever your situation is, you are definitely on your way to experiencing something new and less structured than high school.

[bf_image id="q6bxgw-8m8jwg-5dme04"] There are tons of ways to smooth your transition from high school to college, but it definitely is crucial to make a good start. Your first year of college can largely determine the course of your college career; although, of course, what you do during your first year doesn’t set the rest of your time in college in stone. College is a time where you will learn what you want to do, have endless opportunities to try different things, meet lifelong friends and grow as a person.

Your first few weeks can be super overwhelming. Everyone is trying to figure out what clubs they want to join, if they want to drink and party or not and if they are going to commit to working out every day or gain the freshman 15. This could be the first time you have this much freedom in your life. You are no longer dependent or guided through each step by your parents, but this freedom means you have to begin make real, and often times difficult, decisions for yourself.

[bf_image id="qaloap-gcc9yw-2w7n7w"] The transition will not be easy - that’s for sure. You will most likely go through rough times, and you may even find yourself crying in the shower of your dorm’s communal bathroom at 2 in the morning. You are just going to need to learn to look at these experiences as things that will slowly yet surely shape you and mature you for life after college. Here are some things I would recommend for your first year of college:

First off, check out a lot of organizations. There are tons of organizations on campus that cover so many different interests, religions, hobbies, sports and much more. Do not sell yourself short or only stick to things that are comfortable or familiar to you. Step out of your comfort zone. Maybe you will find something new that you never even heard of before! And maybe you'll end up loving it.

[bf_image id="q4s6il-gd0h4-6r2obf"] Secondly, stay on top of your financial options. College can be super expensive, and there are tons of financial resources available, but only if you seek them out. Go to your college’s financial office and ask them about scholarships and grants. It’s best to get this part over with before you get overwhelmed with classwork. Investing some time into checking out scholarships and actually filling them out will prevent you from owing the government thousands to millions of dollars of student loans as a broke, post-grad adult.

Finally, try to make a four-year plan for your classes. You may go into college as an undecided major, but making sure that you are taking classes that fulfill your requirements can save you hundreds to thousands of summer school money in the long-term. Go to your counselor and try to figure out what classes will fulfill specific requirements, and try to figure out your major as soon as possible. Hopefully, you’ll be able to fit in time to go study abroad during your three or four years in college!

[bf_image id="q8i7py-8qfzag-32cnjx"] The most important thing to remember during this transition is that it is okay to feel overwhelmed when you first step foot onto your college campus. Just take things one at a time and realize that many other freshmen are experiencing the same thing. Reach out to upperclassmen for advice, learn something new and just have fun! College will be over before you know it, so don’t take it for granted. Good luck, and be safe!

Lauren is a fourth-year Psychology major with a minor in Asian Languages at UCLA from Studio City, California. In addition to writing as a feature writer for Her Campus at UCLA, she loves reading for leisure, playing with her dogs, and watching The Office.
Similar Reads👯‍♀️