University is an important investment in your future. The amount of time and effort you spend preparing for university can ease the transition and help you get more out of the experience. From proper time management to taking better notes, there are a few things you can work on while you are still in high school to prepare for the demands of university.
Developing good habits in high school will lead to good habits in university. Below are valuable tips to help high school students prepare for university.
Begin the university search as early as possible
Decide which characteristics are most important in a university (atmosphere, size, location, degrees programs offered, career training, etc.) before making a decision about applying to the university. If possible, visit each of the university campuses you are interested in to get a feel for the campus and find out what student life is like. This will also give you an opportunity to meet with an admissions representative and ask questions.
Learn how to take notes
If you are an organized, responsible student, the best way to grow is to develop your note-taking skills. The primary purpose of going to university is to learn proper training techniques and to become knowledgeable about your future career. When you go to class, your university has hired a professor who is an expert in their field for the sole purpose of providing valuable information that will help you in your future profession. Because of this, the notes you take on what the professor says will be fundamental to your success, both on exams and in your future career.
Once you get to university, the temptation to slack may be hard to resist. Don’t make the mistake of skipping too many classes or neglecting your study time. It can be very easy to fall behind. Make it a habit to attend every class – even when you don’t feel like it – and adhere to your study schedule if you want to do well in university. If you miss several classes in a semester, you will miss out on valuable class material and may not complete the semester successfully.
Learn time management
To avoid feeling overwhelmed by the university experience, you must learn to balance school, your social life, and any other obligations you have. Keep a calendar of all paper due dates and exam dates. Set aside a certain amount of time each day that you devote to uninterrupted studying. Sticking to a schedule can help you manage your time effectively without feeling overwhelmed.
One of the biggest differences between high school and university level courses is that university has more content in shorter periods of time. Because of this, you will find that your university classes will oftentimes contain bigger exams over more content. The best way to prepare for this is to learn how to be organized. Having a calendar to keep track of assignments and exams will alleviate a lot of stress, and will also allow you to manage your time in a way that schedules daily study time. Since the exams in university are generally denser and less frequent, dedicating a specific amount of time to study every day will help you be successful in classes and prevent hectic “cram-sessions” the night before an exam.
While class attendance is mandatory in high school, one of the perks of university is that you get to choose whether or not you go to class. Many students take advantage of this and skip classes unnecessarily. Regardless of what some may say, attending classes is vital to your success, since lectures and class activities are where you will get most of the content that shows up on your exams. High school is the perfect time to get in the habit of regularly attending class and learning what it means to be disciplined.
Be prepared to do a lot of reading
Prepare for numerous reading assignments when you enter university. Some instructors will expect you to complete a reading assignment before each class. In addition, expect to do a lot of reading when it’s time to study for an exam. Learning how to read more efficiently by scanning the material for key points will help reduce the amount of time spent reading and help you retain more information.
Brush up on your studying skills
Learn how to get the most out of your study time. Decide which study methods work best for you while you’re still in high school and determine ways to study more efficiently. Perhaps flash cards work for you, or maybe you retain more information when you spend a brief amount of time on a topic before switching to a different topic. Be prepared to do more studying than ever before when you get to university.
Take advantage of advanced classes in high school
Taking advanced courses in high school will help you prepare for the demands of university coursework. Advanced coursework will also look good on your university application. Admissions counselors want to see that you have taken the most challenging courses available. Success in difficult courses is a sure sign of university preparedness.
Participate in volunteer and community service programs
Your past volunteer work and community service will give you an edge when applying for scholarships. Not only will your volunteer and community service experience look good on a scholarship application, it will also provide you with valuable work and social skills that can help with your career down the line. Don’t stop volunteering and participating in community service programs when you enter university, though, as these activities can provide opportunities to network.