The transition from high school to college can often feel like everything is changing and, to some extent, this is true. You won’t just be going to school at a new location; you may also have to get used to the responsibilities and concerns of living alone. There’s no denying that the college lifestyle can take some getting used to, but if you’re getting excited about starting college, it’s a transition that you’re sure to welcome with open arms; especially if you know what to expect!
Preparing for Life After High School
What to do After Graduation
Leaving home and starting college means also taking on a myriad of new responsibilities. You’ll be immersed in an entirely new academic experience, faced with financial and social decisions and, of course, living much more independently. It can seem overwhelming, but you can mitigate this feeling a lot with a little planning and foresight. Let’s start with one of the most important aspects of starting your first year of college: your financials.
Budgeting & Finances 101
A new school is likely going to mean new financial responsibilities; this is where the use of technology can work in your favor. If budgeting and numbers aren’t your thing, but your parents are expecting you to stick to a strict budget, the use of apps can help to keep you on track. Here is a list of easy-to-use apps that can help you to better manage your budget; better yet, you can manage all of your finances right from your smart device.
Before you embark on your first year as a college student, it’s important that your parents are able to set you up for success – especially if your family is paying for all, or part of, your college expenses. This will also help to determine what your parents’ expectations are and who is responsible for what. For example, your parents may pay for your groceries, while you may be responsible for paying for your gasoline or toiletries.
To stay on track, be sure that both you and your family list out all of your expenses. It’s easy to overlook small and even crucial expense sources, which can derail your budget when it comes time to make a payment. It’s also important that you plan for financial emergencies, like an unexpected issue with your car or if you happen to lose something you need, such as a textbook or cell phone.
Need another resource for creating and managing your own budget? Federal Student Aid features additional tips and tricks for keeping track of your income and expenses, and saving for those bigger ticket items. Utilize a resource like this if you have any immediate questions that can’t be sorted out with your parents.
Your Academic Advisor
Just like your school counselor, your academic advisor is a great resource for any questions, concerns and support to may need during your transition. In the event that you are struggling with a particular subject, an advisor can help identify a solution to your academic troubles. Some of the solutions may include:
- Working with a tutor outside of the classroom
- Finding an editor on campus to assist with your research paper
- Studying with other students who are experiencing success in that specific class
An advisor can also assist you during the course selection process so you don’t have to navigate the course catalog on your own. This collaboration will also help you if you ever need to withdraw or add a class on your own. Working with your academic advisor can be one of the most valuable relationships that you make on campus. Not only can they assist you with your academics, but when graduation approaches and you need to find a job or an internship, your advisor can either assist you with your research or put you in contact with the right fit in the career center.
When it comes to preparing for your college journey, earlier is better, but you should still have plenty of time to get oriented even after completing high school. All it takes is access to the right resources and a little bit of help and guidance from the right people.