Moving from a safe environment, where you’ve spent the last 13 years, to an entirely different world can be a daunting and overwhelming experience if you’re not prepared for it. At the same time, you can also get carried away by the newfound freedom and independence and and lose sight of your vision and values.
Universities offer a world of choices — and it’s up to you to make the best of the opportunities. Do you want to excel in academics or explore your other talents and see how you fare with extra-curricular activities? Do you just want to hang out with your friends and have a good time or do you want to find out which career path suits you best? To ensure a smooth transition from school to college, you need to keep an open mind and find the right balance.
1 Transitions take time: Moving from school to college is a transition and takes time to adjust to. Don’t be too hard on yourself if you find it difficult to cope with the changes - just give yourself some time.
2 Be open to new experiences: When in college, you’re going to encounter a host of different kinds of people and a range of opportunities. Be flexible and keep an open mind to ensure that you make the best of your college experience.
3 Don’t let go of your school friends: It can be difficult keeping in touch with your school friends as you move to different colleges, different cities and meet new people. School friends, however, are important, too.; make an effort to keep in touch with them.
4 Freedom and responsibility go hand in hand: You might be tempted to get drawn into your new found freedom and explore avenues you never have before. But remember that if you have the freedom, you also have to take responsibility for your actions and face the consequences.
5 Self-discipline is the key: Academics in college are very different from those you might have been used to in school. Parents and teachers are no longer likely to nag you to attend your classes or finish your homework. To do well in college, you need to be proactive and regular with your readings.
6 Never lose sight of your goals: College life will offer you a host of opportunities and distractions. For you to navigate this plethora of choices and get the most of out of your college days, never lose sight of your priorities, your value system and your short term and long-term goals.
The author is director, mental health and behavioural sciences, Fortis Healthcare