Adapting and making new friends
Some people may not seem fazed by this new stage of their educational life, but really everyone is in the same boat as you. While you may have your own set of friends starting college with you, try to keep an open mind and be willing to make new friends, too. Don’t be afraid to ask others for help or advice; they will probably be relieved that they are not the only one who is unsure of what to do, and it’s a great way of introducing yourself to new people. There’s no official upper age limit at college, so you may find you make friends with mature students; embrace this chance to meet new, interesting people – even if they are the same age as your parents!
Signing up to activities and events
College will give you the opportunity to join clubs and get involved in new and exciting activities. This is an excellent way of meeting like-minded people; by throwing yourself into a situation where you will be interacting with others, you are sure to make friends along the way. You could discover a new hobby or keep up your passion for an existing one. As well as this, taking part in activities is fun, challenging and fulfilling and looks great on university applications and CVs.
Getting to know your tutors
You may find that the learning environment in college differs from that of school. Because you are now only studying a few subjects, you will be seeing a lot more of your designated tutors. It’s a good idea to get to know them early on, as an open and trusting relationship is vital between the two of you. Your tutors can prove to be an invaluable asset to your college life, so it pays to make a real effort in the first few weeks. From academic to social issues, your tutor will be there to listen and advise.
Getting deeper into your course selections
As we touched on in our previous post, it’s very wise to read around your chosen subjects in order to broaden your knowledge. If possible, ask your tutors to inform you of future areas of study so you can read up in advance. Yes, it might seem keen, but they’re not going to penalise you for that! Familiarise yourself with your core reading list and look at online resources that will help you delve deeper into your course selections.
Managing your time effectively
When you begin college, you will soon realise that you have more free time than you did at school. The trick is to carefully manage this time so that you use it efficiently. Design a timetable that includes personal studies, and get into the habit of sticking to it. However tempting it may be to check your social media or watch television, you will need to be strict with your time now that you are more independent than you were at school. Avoid the ‘P’ word at all costs: procrastination! If you are a notorious procrastinator, the best thing you can do to get into the swing of a project or assignment is just start it! This initial icebreaker is often the hardest part, but once you’ve done it you will realise it’s not as bad as you envisaged.
Are you or your teenager starting college this year? Let us know how you’re preparing in the comments box below.
Take a look at our education page for books, workbooks and other resources to help you through college.