As college bound high school seniors anxiously await their admission decisions, the thought of actually preparing for life on campus tends to take a backseat until they learn of their acceptance. Luckily for many of these students, they already have the tools they need to succeed in college – they just need to know how to harness them.
The college prep process may be over for college bound high school seniors, but there are a number of college prep tips that can carry students into their freshman year and throughout their college experience. The goal of college guidance is not just to help students gain admission to their top-choice colleges, but also prepare them for life after graduation. College counselors want students to feel prepared for their college experience, and the guidance offered during the admissions process can translate into skills that can help students make the most of their next four years in school.
Here are five college prep tips that IvyWise’s team of expert counselors says students should use in college, too.
Planning ahead was important in preparing for admission to your top-choice colleges, and it’ll be even more important once you’re in college. Students are expected to be independent. There won’t be anyone to make sure you attend class, do your homework, or study for tests. It’s important to stay organized and make a plan for projects, studying, and even extracurricular activities. It’s also important to plan ahead for things like studying abroad, applying for research opportunities, finding internships, and other milestones that are important to your college experience. Stay on top of your work, go to class, and stay motivated.
Fit Is Key
Hopefully, if you started early and did your research, you’re attending a college that is a good fit for your social, academic, and financial needs. Fit is key when choosing where to go to college, and it is also important once you get on campus. Seek out activities, organizations, and other student groups that are a good fit for what you hope to accomplish on campus. Focus on fit when seeking out elective classes, partners for group projects, or even new roommates. Fit will continue to be an important metric throughout college, and even when you start looking for your first post-graduate job.
Your Grades Matter – Perform Well in Class
It was drilled into your head all throughout high school – make good grades – and now that you’re in college, that advice is more important than ever. For many students, the adjustment to college life can be hard, and their first semester grades will show it. It’s important to remember why you’re in college in the first place: To get a good education. Maintaining a certain GPA can be essential to staying in a certain program, keeping your current scholarships, or even qualifying for other financial aid opportunities. Your grades will also be important should you decide to apply to a graduate program.
Your Interests Matter – Find a Few Activities You Love and Make an Impact
You may have honed in on a specialty in high school, or have a few areas of interest you’d like to learn more about, so it’s time to really gain experience now that you’re in college. Get involved! Whether it’s with clubs, groups, organizations, or other activities that align with your major, or exploring a new activity that you’ve never had the chance to experience before, take advantage of extracurricular opportunities on campus and make an impact. Not only will this help guide you to better understand your current interests and explore new ones, it will also give you experience that can be highlighted in internship, job, and graduate admission applications.
Build Relationships With Professors, Mentors, and Classmates
In college you will have the once in a lifetime opportunity to meet new people and learn from some of the brightest thought leaders in your area of study. One of IvyWise’s top college prep tips is to be present in class. Ask questions. Participate in class discussions. Get to know your teachers and ask for help if you need it. This is even more important in college. If professors offer office hours, go and meet with them. Be engaged in class projects, discussions, and lectures. Build relationships with your classmates and participate in healthy debate. Learn from mentors in your program, research project, internship, or other learning experiences. These relationships will enrich your experience and will likely last long after you’ve graduated, and can be beneficial when looking for a job or seeking admission to a graduate program.
Preparing for college extends far beyond just applying and getting in. At IvyWise we work with students to not only gain admission to their top-choice schools, but also to prepare them for the next four years in college and beyond. Our counselors get to know their students and work with them to achieve not only their admissions goals, but also their academic and personal goals. For more information on how IvyWise works with students and our college prep services, contact us today.
Watch IvyWise counselor Nat talk about IvyWise’s approach to counseling and mentoring in the video below!