Hey all, it’s Jordyn here. I know when I was in high school, I had teachers tell us all the time how college would be so different from high school. They’d say things like:
“You can’t get away with that in college.”
“Your professors won’t be so lenient.”
“Don’t expect to act like that in college.”
You get the picture. Not too encouraging, right? I’m here to tell you college isn’t as scary and uptight as high school teachers make it seem. However, these teachers do speak truth. The picture above is quite funny, but it’s not completely true. College in general is very different from high school, and your teachers want to prepare you to “toughen up” a little bit for your college career.
To be honest, school was not a top priority for me while I was in high school. I studied some (not nearly as much as I should have) and made average grades (besides my AP chemistry class.. still shiver thinking about it).
When I would hear teachers tell these frightening tales of how we’ll get our world turned upside down in our first college class, I’d push it off as though I was invincible.
My world wasn’t completely turned upside down when I started my first semester at Mississippi College, but I did have some enlightening experiences that made me realize I had to change from the student I was in high school to the college student I needed to become.
Some things I realized early on I needed to change:
- Note taking habits. I honestly don’t remember taking too many notes in high school.. please do not follow after high school Jordyn. Some professors provide power points and handy study guides to give you in class, but not every professor is like that. Some professors walk into class with no notes or outlines to go by, and just speak off the top of their head sharing the knowledge they have gained. When this happens, write down every. single. word. your professor says! Don’t assume you’ll get a study guide with the specific terms you’ll need for the test that you can look up later. Literally write or type on your computer every piece of information your professor gives you. This assures that you have all the information needed to accurately study and learn the material given! Bringing a laptop or recorder to class comes in handy, but be sure to ask your professor if you can record his or her lectures beforehand.
- Study habits. Once again, high school Jordyn did not have too great of study habits. One thing about college is for sure: you WILL study if you want to graduate. We all know those people who didn’t study at all in high school but made straight A’s.. that is unheard of in college. Studying needs to be a top priority for college students. Every college student is busy, especially if you’re involved in extracurricular activities (which is great) but you will soon learn you have to make time for studying in between other things you have going on. If you can’t make time for your school work, you need to cut something out.
- Planning. The Choctawk has mentioned before how having a planner is essential to a college student’s life. Planning out your week before it starts will save you the future trouble of missing an important meeting or forgetting to do a homework assignment. Most professors provide a schedule of when exams and projects will be due throughout the semester. I want to encourage all of you future college students to write down these scheduled assignments in advance on your calendar so you won’t be surprised when something comes up. Beware: if you buy a planner or calendar to help you stay organized, be sure to actually look at your planner daily so you know what to expect for the weeks ahead.
- Get acquainted with your professors. Though high school teachers may make it seem like college professors are intimidating and people you can’t have conversations with, that’s totally untrue. MC professors are some of the nicest people I have ever met. They care about your progression throughout your college career and offer hours when they are available to help. Meet your professors and introduce yourself to them. Connect with them on some level and seek professional advice from them. Classes at MC are small and intimate which makes it super easy to get to know your professors. You never know, they could help you find a job one day or write you a recommendation letter.
All of this to say, don’t let your fear of college keep you from getting there or being successful once you start. Every student needs to make adjustments as they begin their college career, but don’t sweat it. Get serious about your studies and you’ll do great!