Preparing yourself for the transition from high school to college
While college is a lot of fun, it is also equally challenging. The thumb rule is to understand that college is not the same as high school; it is a whole new ball game and the best way to accommodate the change is by – Getting your head in the game!
It’ up to you! : Individual Responsibility
Your mother is not going to wake you up and keep a track of your attendance. You are responsible for managing your time, registering for your classes, participating in co-curricular activities etc. This new-found freedom could serve more as a detriment than a benefit, if not managed properly. Practice a disciplined schedule, balance your school and social life, before you leave your motherland.
Teacher, Teach me: Interacting with the faculty
If you expect your teacher to assume responsibility for your learning as in high school, you may be highly disillusioned. Teachers are usually busy in the library, doing research or community service. They only serve as guidelines. There is an unspoken rule of 1:3, for every one hour in the class you need to devote three hours to self-study, with the help of the prescribed syllabus and course material. Ready-made notes alone will not guarantee good grades in college. Unlike high school, college does not test your ability to reproduce information learnt in class but applying information to new or real-life situations.
Peers & Beers
President Theodore Roosevelt is quoted as saying “The most important single ingredient in the formula of success is knowing how to get along with people.” Attending college gives you an unparalleled opportunity to network with fellow classmates and understand different cultures, making you a truly global person. While socialising is fun, socialising by taking extra courses like cooking, salsa etc. could even support your GPA. So, don’t restrict you only to studies or remain glued to Facebook, get out of that comfort zone and experience the world!
Who am I? : Embracing cultural differences
Invariably, every college life starts with the honeymoon phase, everything is new & exciting but slowly you may notice yourself getting irritable, anxious and even having bouts of crying-spells. Don’t worry, it’s not a disease, you are experiencing a cross-over culture shock. In the process of trying to fit-in, you may feel like a misplaced object getting pushed back to the shore by an invisible wave. In reality, your mind and body experience an information & visual overload, trying to grasp the new cultural nuances, leading to socially awkward situations, embarrassment and even failures in multiple forms.
The cure: Just laugh it off! No one is judging you. However, never give up on observing and learning. You will be fine in a couple of months.
Grandma’s rules: The nuts & bolts
Do your homework! There are some things that can be worked on before leaving your country. Learn cooking. Eating outside every day may turn out quite expensive. Learn driving, if you are above the required legal age. Finally, work on your campus lingo. Google is the best source. For example, “bounce” means “I have to leave” and “all-night” means “to put off studying till the night” so, don’t stare if someone tells you the same.
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