One of our homeschool goals for my oldest daughter has been to get her college ready. With a good amount of nay-sayers in our life, I wanted to make sure I could pass the baton to the next stage in her life and feel confident she will continue to be successful as a college student, in sha Allah.
Getting ready for college at home has not been easy, but with our credit by exam experience, I think she has a taste of the rigor expected of her at a college level.
Kira was recently accepted into the post secondary program at a local community college, meaning she will finish her Junior and Senior years of high school taking classes at the community college, both earning high school and college credit. We’ve been preparing for this day for a long time. Still, just like all other moms with children at this stage, I worry she will stumble when walking into the college world. I want to give her some advice as a beginning college student.
Advice for college students
- Ensure they know what tools are available for organizing your work. Parents, talk about what worked for you.
- When I was in college, I had two backpacks to help keep me organized: one for my Monday/Wednesday classes, and a second for my Tuesday/Thursday classes. When I stopped having to swap out books to keep my backpack light, I stopped forgetting items at home, and could grab a backpack for homework and already have a mental readiness for what I’m going to work on.
- Expect less free time. Likely, you were not sitting at home for hours every night bored, wondering what to do. Something will have to give. Work, friends, something.
- Schedule time for homework instead of planning to fit it in the cracks of free time you have. If you have a busy home, go to a library or coffee shop to get some quiet. Some find that scheduling time in these places helps carve out dedicated homework time in their week.
- Time management is even more important. Don’t waste time with being inefficient or wandering on social media.
- Some students do social media fasts when they are preparing for exams. That may be a good idea when starting a semester also.
- On the other hand, it may prove beneficial to schedule social media time to keep it contained.
- College socialization can be quite different than sports or previous classroom experience. Get involved with religious or ideological groups to find your niche, make friends, and get support in your college experience.
- Be watchful for negative social experiences. College can be a time where faithful students are tested greatly, or secular students’ comfort zones are stretched. You don’t have to be part of everything you’re invited to. You can walk away whenever you wish.
- Be in communication with your instructors. Ask questions whenever you need; it shows you care about their class and your grade.
- Use technology to aid you. Find tools to make life easier, if you can.
- DO NOT UNDERESTIMATE THE VALUE OF WRITING NOTES BY HAND. Use a smart pen to bridge your desire for digital items and the need to write things in order to better retain them
Whether your child listens to you the first time around with these pieces of advice or not, know that you have done your best to prepare them for this next stage in their life. At this point, it is their decision how successful they will be as a college student.