Many students leave for college with the misbelief that it would be pretty much the same as their high school with more advanced courses. The frustration on their first day in college and feelings of being lost become unavoidable and the kickoff is never as smooth as they wish.
The responsibility of getting students prepared for college is thrown on the shoulders of parents as well as schools. Educators and school professionals can pave the way for students to endure the sudden changes by teaching them simple facts and life skills.
• Professors are not like your high school teachers
In school, it is an 80/20 equation whereas in college it’s 20/80 if not less than 20.
Let us be clear here, teachers do most of the work. They prepare lessons, research class management techniques and grade exam papers. They do most of the talking in class expecting the student to pay attention and respond to questions occasionally. In college, it is the other way around.
Professors are experts, they expect students to do most of the research and learn self-studying and discipline. Professors do not really give you what to study but teach you how and where to study advising you about data sources, important material and reference books.
• Life skills means dealing with emergencies
While everything at school is monitored and under control, college life is way different. Students should be taught how to face life on their own. Simple life skills should be acquired before they leave to college like how to defend themselves, how to deal with emergencies including basic first aid skills and how to eat healthy and stay in shape.
• It’s not what you know, it’s who you know
College serves as a “miniature” model of how graduate life will be. While in school you are likely to know everyone in class, in college this is not the case. And even if it happened that you went to college with tens of people from high school, try to make as many connections outside your comfort zone as possible.
Attend events and participate in activities. Be an active member of different groups. Networking is key to staying posted about class updates, learning tips – not to mention internships and training opportunities.
• Living on a budget
Students should learn how to manage their expenses – especially those who will be moving out of their parents’ house to study abroad. While school books are provided at low prices, college material costs a fortune.
Saving will get you to enjoy the finer things once you’re done with college and you’re ready for the real world.
• Soft skills is a necessity
It will be a bit surprising for students to be taught soft skills at school but they will for sure make use of it after leaving for college. Soft skills – also known as the interpersonal skills – including time management, communication and self-management skills, are the bread and butter of business etiquette and the core fundamentals of a successful career within any company.
College students are also expected to have a specific level of social intelligence including teamwork to participate in study groups, volunteer projects and activity teams.
• Developing writing skills and techniques
This one is very important and students will thank you for teaching them so on their first college assignments. Students should be taught how to research a paper or an essay, how to write a formal email and most of all how to create their first resume.
• You are your own best competition
Students should know by heart that in college they are their only competition. Life is different and so is everyone. Some people are meant to graduate, other might dropout and start their own businesses. Doing well in college doesn’t guarantee a successful career and life but passion and hard work do.