Without parents around to urge you forward, it can be quite a shock stepping out into what could be the first situation in which you are on your own and left to make decisions independently.  It’s sink or swim time, and the choices you make now could affect the entirety of your future, both personal and work related.  In some ways, high school and college are similar, but in many ways they are worlds apart, and being prepared to make the leap from one to the other can mean the difference between success and failure.

Waking up in the Morning

Waking up in the morning.  Sounds simple right?  You might be surprised though when you arrive at college to find out just how many of your classmates will end up oversleeping and missing class.

Whether intentionally, because they just don’t have the motivation or interest, or because of that late night study session, great party, their alarm not going off, or just because mommy and daddy weren’t there to rouse them, just about every student that attends a brick-and-mortar university is bound to miss or at least be late to at least one class during their college career.

By getting a jumpstart while still in high school and setting an alarm to ensure you’re up on time, you may be able to avoid such mishaps.  If nothing else, while you’re at school, getting a good alarm, settling into a routine, getting to sleep on time, and asking a roommate, floor-mates, or classmates to check and make sure you’re up on time could help you avoid missing class.

Paying for Things

It’s simple when mom and dad tend to pay all the bills, but bad practice for school.  Consider asking them if you could sit down with them and watch how they budget for, pay, and reconcile regular monthly bills and accounts.  Getting a feel for cash flow and how to handle finances before you head off to school could give you a leg up on the competition.

If nothing else, taking a little time to sketch out a pre-arrival budget, ensure that you have a proper handle on things like credit cards and checking accounts, and that you track expenses during those first few months at school, can give you a better perspective on what things will cost and how to deal with your educational expenses.

Taking the Initiative

This aspect of making the high school to college leap may be the most difficult for many students to make.  If you wait for mom or dad to handle your educational issues when away at school, you could be in for a shock.

From choosing your class schedule and signing up for classes to paying tuition, getting extra study help for those exceptionally difficult classes or taking advantage of school resources to help you find a job, it could be up to you to make the call and take the initiative.  Failing to do so could leave you missing out on opportunities or worse yet, missing out on a college education altogether.

Setting and Enforcing Limits

The college environment can be a ton of fun, but at the same time, it can be too much fun, and if you don’t set and enforce some limits, it could come back to bite you.  In high school, you may have your parents setting curfews, checking up on your grades, and otherwise looking over your shoulder to ensure your best interests are watched out for.

However, when you’re away at school, while your parents may still be interested in your progress and well-being, your overall educational success will likely be placed squarely upon your shoulders.  Ensuring that you study, get enough sleep, don’t overindulge in fun, get checkups and take medicine when you’re sick, and similar adult-type activities, may be your responsibility and yours alone.



The author is not a licensed educational professional or academic advisor.  This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal, financial or educational advice.  Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader’s discretion.