How High School Seniors Can Make the Most of Their College Experience

By Catherine Groux
Posted May 03, 2012 03:11 PM

Professionals offer their advice on what students should know before going to college.
Professionals offer their advice on what students should know before going to college.
Amid the excitement of earning a high school diploma and the sadness of saying goodbye to childhood friends, high school seniors might not have time to consider how they can make the most of their days in college. However, these four years can be the most influential time in students' lives, and they should start thinking early on how they can best embrace it.

Get to Know International Students

One tip some professionals give high school seniors is to befriend students from unique backgrounds while earning their bachelor's degree. College is a great time to embrace diversity and gain a deeper understanding of different cultures. As Marjorie Smith, associate dean at the University of Denver, explained to The Coloradoan, "our world is increasingly interconnected, whether it's through social media, movies, music, business or politics. In college, take the opportunity to be friends with students from other countries."

Always Ask for Help

In an article for Psychology Today, Nate Kornell said the advice he would give future college students is to always ask for help. Most schools provide a wide range of resources for students who are struggling academically or personally, but oftentimes individuals do not take advantage of the help that is available to them.

"Students need to realize three things," Kornell said. "There's a lot of help out there. People like deans and counselors are pros, and they can probably help you far more than you realize. And there's nothing wrong with getting help."

Develop Time Management Skills

Other professionals feel students need to focus on making a smooth transition between high school and college, which often means developing better time management skills. As Alex Herzog, associate vice chancellor for student services at Utah State University Eastern, told The Eagle Online, in high school, most of individuals' time is controlled for them. However, in college, students need to learn to manage their own time.

Herzog recommends bachelor's degree seekers purchase a daily planner and use it often. They should write down all their assignments and their due dates and decide exactly when they will work on each project. Additionally, Herzog recommends students plan out some fun time when they are done completing academic assignments.

Get Involved

Many college freshmen will be amazed by how many different clubs, groups and organizations their school supports. One of the best ways for individuals to find their place on their new college campus and make the most of the experience is to join one of these programs.

"By getting involved in programs, student groups, committees or leadership roles on campus you open up numerous doors of opportunity for yourself," said Alan Waters, a graduate assistant at Northeastern University, as quoted by the school's website. "Being involved also allows you to take what you have learned in the classroom and put it to practical use. I challenge all of you to seek out at least one organization that interests you and become a member."

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