Leaving high school and making the transition to college is one of the biggest steps you will face in life. Nothing can prepare you for the moment you leave home and are forced to stand on your own two feet without your parents by your side. The potential of going to college is an exciting yet daunting time for any young person – you’ll have many questions about how you’re going to survive alone and how you’ll face the unknowns.

This guide will come in useful for upcoming students with several helpful tips to make the most of their college experience.

1. Find a college

You may have picked up brochures or browsed online at several institutions that you’re interested in applying for, but it’s important to narrow down the search and find a college and course that is suited to you. Different courses will be made up of different modules, some of which may be more theory or practical based. Similarly, you may prefer a small and quiet campus as opposed to a city-center establishment, or vice-versa. It can be hard to visit every single college and get a feel for the environment– especially if they’re located in several states across the USA, but there are tools to find a college online and watch student-generated videos, which provides an honest insight into life at college.

2. Find a balance between social and study life

College isn’t just about studying; it’s also about building relationships with peers and coming out the other side with long-term friendships. Colleges typically allow a couple of weeks before lectures start to run a ‘Fresher’s Week’ which gives new students the chance to mingle and enjoy fun activities. Once lessons begin, you’ll need to find that perfect balance between study and social time, so you don’t fall behind with your workload.

3. Have a support network

Not everyone will adjust to their new surroundings, and homesickness is likely to kick in during the first few days and weeks. With this in mind, it’s important to build a support network before you arrive who will be on hand to chat when you’re feeling down or lonely. Don’t keep your thoughts to yourself and worry that you’re unable to cope – talking to someone familiar will help put your thoughts into perspective and allow you to regain some familiarity.

If you’re struggling with assignments and certain subjects, don’t be afraid to reach out to your professors, as they will be more than willing to help you. You could also chat with other students in your classes who may be able to give some useful pointers on how to tackle tricky topic areas.


4. Eat healthily

Many students fall into the trap of eating junk food, so they don’t have to spend valuable study time cooking; however, a poor diet can affect your mood and physical health. Maintaining a well-balanced diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, carbs, and protein will help keep your energy levels up and maintain concentration.

5. Be active in class

As you’ll be paying hefty fees to go to college, it’s crucial you make the most of every lecture. Don’t be afraid to speak up in class and make your opinions known if you feel strongly about a certain topic area. This proves your interest and will allow you to develop your ideas. Similarly, if the professor is speaking too quickly and you don’t understand, raise your hand and inform them you would like further explanation.