Over 20 million students are expected to attend college every year. However, going to college for the first time can be overwhelming and nerve-wracking. Many college freshman make understandable mistakes, which can be avoided through following the tips below.
For Your Freshmen: A Helpful Guide for Amateurs on What to Seek and Avoid During College
College is a large financial and personal investment that results in many excellent opportunities. However, many college freshman miss out on opportunities due to shyness. Make sure your new college student understands and accepts that shyness must be conquered in order to reap the full benefits of the college experience. For example, college professors may appear intimidating, but many will appreciate your efforts to ask questions during class and talk with them during office hours. Practice starting conversations with your students about lesson material. If possible, also encourage them to join a club or organization.
Independently living on your own without any structure or self-discipline will result in a large amount of missed classes, assignments and opportunities. Teach your new student to focus on managing time and avoiding procrastination at all costs. Certain things like major assignments and financial aid deadlines cannot be missed. Have them unplug their smart phone and laptop and instead, use an old fashioned day planner to track classes, activities and goals. Writing things down physically will help them more with planning and time management.
Almost everyone who attends college will have lived with a roommate that they didn’t get along with. College is a fast paced and stressful time that results in occasional difficulties with roommates. Remind your student to be mature when dealing with difficult roommates and, if necessary, don’t be afraid to change residences. In addition to this, there may be classmates or professors that are difficult to get along with. As with adults in the workplace, being patient and tolerant will avoid many potential interpersonal problems.
Many students make the mistake of assuming that all classes must be taken on a campus with a set schedule. Online courses and degrees are becoming more and more popular because they offer flexibility, affordability and convenience. If possible, encourage your new student to consider taking both on-campus and online courses. This will give them better control of their time (especially if they are working while going to school) and allow them to study at their own pace. If they struggle and find out that in-class settings just aren’t their thing, have them look into obtaining certain degrees all through online courses, like the NJIT Master’s in Electrical Engineering program.
Sending off a child to college can be a difficult thing knowing the challenges they will face. Remind your new student of these factors to help enhance their experience during the first year of college. It is also important to remind them that you’re there for them with any troubles they may have during their time on campus. Learn more college statistics here: http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=372.