How to Set Yourself Up for Success Before College Starts

How to Set Yourself Up for Success Before College Starts So you’re thinking about going off to college? Getting ready for higher education i...

How to Set Yourself Up for Success Before College StartsHow to Set Yourself Up for Success Before College Starts

So you’re thinking about going off to college? Getting ready for higher education is an exciting time. You get to pick where you’ll go, decide on your degree program, and start shopping to decorate your dorm. 

Those are all great parts of getting ready for college, but you might be wondering if there’s more you need to do. After all, this will be the period of time in your life that sets you up for the long future ahead of you. So, how do you figure out the best ways to prepare in order to be successful?


The best way to excel at something new in your life is by being prepared for it. That’s probably why college exists in the first place. Think about it, you’re going to school for so many years to learn how to be what you want to be. Teachers, astronauts, and nurses weren’t trained in a day. 


Success requires effort and planning. But, you might not know where to begin. Or, perhaps you have some idea how to prepare yourself, if you were particularly studious in high school. However, college is a whole different rodeo. But don’t sweat it! Here are some ideas to help jump into university life knowing exactly what to expect. 

1. Schedule a Campus Tour

If you’re moving into university housing, you’ll definitely want to know what your future campus looks like. Sure, there might be a virtual tour or pictures online, but that’s not the same. Photos can only reveal so much — it’s better to get a look for yourself. 


Going on a campus tour at a college you’re considering, or have already decided on, is a great kickstart to university life. Being there in person can give you a real feel for the place. How do you feel walking around campus? Can you see yourself spending your days there? These are important feelings to consider while visiting.


Campus tours are also opportunities to speak with people on campus, like faculty, advisers, and students. There are people there to answer your questions, so take advantage of that. The tour guides will also have helpful information, and they can show you all sorts of places you’ll need to know about. 


Whether it’s the dormitories, dining halls, or academic buildings, getting this close-up view of life on campus is essential. Without a visit before attending, you’re jumping in head-first. Ease your nerves by taking a campus tour. And, if you’re still on the fence about where to go, this will help narrow down your decision.

2. Learn Important Studying Techniques

Studying isn’t the most fun activity out there, but it is college — it’s kind of part of the deal. Maybe you weren’t the best at studying in high school and want to try to do better in college. Or, maybe you just want to find a more effective way to remember the material. Regardless of your situation, it’s always a good idea to learn efficient methods of studying


Figuring out the best type of studying for you is a task you should start before school begins. Going into the school year ready to absorb that material like never before will help you excel in class. One way to find out what studying method works best for you is by taking a learning style quiz. This can help you realize what type of learner you are — for example, maybe you’re a visual learner. 


Once you figure out what learning style fits you best, you can start adapting your studying methods accordingly. Like mentioned above, if you’re a visual learner, utilize flash cards or re-write information down to study. You might just notice how much better you remember information afterward. And, you’ll thank yourself later for knowing this before your first exam. 

3. Get Better at Time Management

Half of what it takes to be successful in college is just having a solid schedule and time management skills. You’re going to have a lot of work to do, and many times due dates will overlap. Looking at all the homework you’ll have throughout the semester can feel overwhelming. Luckily, there are effective strategies to help you with this.


It all comes down to figuring out how to spend your time. Procrastination and getting easily distracted are both enemies of time management. Try to improve your focus by adding a little stability into doing your schoolwork. Set up a weekly calendar, writing down all your assignments for each day of the week. Having a visual aid can significantly help you keep track of your time and your work. 


Unfortunately, time management skills don’t always come naturally. This might be something you have to work on. Try to practice with some daily tasks, like taking out the trash or cleaning the bathroom, before heading off to school. You’ll feel more prepared to take on a bigger schedule by move-in day.

4. Talk to Others

Sometimes it’s hard to go about something new on your own. You might have no idea how to deal with all the change, and that’s okay. This is where your friends and family can come to help you. 


Asking others what they learned about being successful in college is another great way to find ideas for yourself. Sometimes you might not think of something until someone else mentions it. This can be true, especially for something you don’t have experience with. 


Having someone to talk to can also help calm your nerves, which is important for your success too. Don’t underestimate the power of shared knowledge. This can also help you with getting a clear idea of what your upcoming life will look like. You’re more likely to get an honest review of college from a friend or family member than a school employee.

Take a Deep Breath

Remember, you’ve got this! College can be a scary, new thing, but don’t let your worries stop you from succeeding. You can do anything you put your mind to, no matter what others might say. 


Being prepared in advance for any big change, especially university, can help lift the weight off your shoulders. This can help ease your transition to college life, too. So, don’t sweat it. Go out there and show ‘em who’s boss. 

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