Transitioning from Highschool to College


Matthew Schilling

The class of 2023 are striving to succeed in college by building a good foundation. Their efforts to work hard by themselves and with their classmates will help them on their road to success.

Graduating from high school is a major milestone in life for many young people. However, graduating can come with all types of stress and challenges. A common challenge is homesickness; a lot of kids are going into a new environment and may feel overwhelmed by the academic workload. College won’t be easy but with the right preparation and a positive mindset, you will be able to make the transition as smooth as possible.

Another major challenge that high school students face when they are in the transition to college, is the academic workload. In high school, you are on a set schedule with designated class times and a teacher who is there to help you and guide you through the material. However in college, don’t rely too much on a system like that because you’ll have to manage your time and schedule all independently. With an increased workload and challenging courses, you will have to put in a high effort to manage your study time. To tackle these challenges head on, it is important to have a strong foundation and develop good study habits early on. Stay on top of your learning by going to lectures and taking good notes.

El Cid Online met up with Mitch Schouten ‘22 about tips for college. He says, “A tip I could give for the transition to college is staying organized. I found that I struggled at first because my notes were messy, and so was my dorm; so, I took time to find an organized way to live and now I have been doing well and happy.”

Additionally, use the resources around you to better yourself. There are so many things available on campus to help your learning such as a tutoring service or study groups. These services and resources can help you stay on track and improve your academic performance.

Another challenge a high school student might face when in the transition to college is the social adjustment. In high school, you may have your tight friend group and your social circle. But in college, you’ll have to make new friends and adjust to a new social environment that can be uncomfortable or challenging for some. To make the transition easier, try to get out of your comfort zone and this can look like getting involved in campus activities or clubs. This will give you the opportunity to meet so many new people to form connections with and people who share your interests and hobbies.

El Cid Online was able to talk to a CCHS alumni and current SMU student, Bella Ellis ‘22, about an easier transition, “One of the best tips I would give for the transition from high school to college would be to give yourself time to figure things out within the first few months. You’re still figuring out college life, maybe a new city, being away from family, and meeting a bunch of new people. Everyone around you is also figuring everything out or has been in your position before, so don’t feel like you’re alone.”

Really take advantage of the events on campus because that is a great way to meet so many new people.

Finally, a major struggle highschoolers have in the transition to college is financial management. Lots of college students struggle to make ends meet, and nearly half of students have credit card debt. To avoid issues such as these, it is important to gain and develop good financial habits early on. It is recommended to make a budget and stick to it, avoid unnecessary expenses, and take advantage of the financial aid and scholarships. Additionally, try to find a way to make money. Examples could be a part time job or a paid internship. This can also help you gain experience in the workforce and will help you make extra money. When saving money, you can try to find tips and tricks that might help you save a little more and more each time.

An important tip is to really think about what you are spending your money on and if it is essential for your needs. People tend to spend money on accessories that are useless to them, so try to find what can benefit you the most.

The transition to college from high school will be challenging, but with a strong and positive mindset you can overcome these road bumps and be able to succeed. Learn to develop good study habits, become more social around the campus, and manage your finances accordingly and wisely. These tips will help the transition become a little bit easier. You will find yourself overwhelmed and that is normal. You may also find yourself missing home. Although you may be homesick during your first year of college, it is very important to know that there are professors, advisers, and peers to talk to that have your best interest in mind and will support you. With lots of hard work and determination, you will find yourself with a happy college life.