Going to college in pursuit of a higher education, if you choose to, is a very difficult and important decision. As a two year college, UC Clermont sees a lot of incoming students fresh out of high school and the issues they face from transitioning from High School to College. As a result, the faculty and staff have adapted and created various programs to help to aid students and offer support throughout the years. After compiling some information, Lantern Writer Linneah Deighton and I were able to come up with some of the dos and don’ts of transitioning from high school to college.
Before you begin to transfer into college, you should be as confident as possible that you are pursuing the degree you want and that you are attending the college you want to go to. UC Clermont Academic Advisor, Nicona Gamm, stated in an interview that you should try to job-shadow the career you want to pursue when you choose your major. By job-shadowing, you can gain comprehensive knowledge about what a certain employee does on a day-to-day basis and can decide if the career you are interested in would be a good fit for or not. By doing this before you go into college, you can avoid wasting money pursuing a career that you will end up hating.
After you have chosen a career that you would like and have found a corresponding degree for that profession, you can start looking into colleges. A good place to start would be college visits. To better see what a certain college campus is like, you should attend as many college events as possible. This includes attending open houses, block parties, college fairs, and conferences, and numerous other events. Rather than simply observing college life from a distance, campus events can give you an opportunity to be a part of the experience. At these events, you can socialize with students and professors, as well as representatives, to make new connections. In doing so, you can explore whether the campus and student body offers what you are looking for.
Once you figure out which general direction you want to move in your life, try to map out your future as best as possible. Talk to faculty members and student advisors to discuss how to move towards graduating. Take a look at the curriculum guide for your major and consider how many classes you can take on each semester. Keep in mind whether you plan on working at all during the semester and how much time that would take. Would you commute from home? Are you going to live on campus? Would you be in a dorm or an apartment? These will change the course of your life on campus. You should also try to get as many scholarships and as much financial aid as you can to make college life as inexpensive as possible. Applying to multiple scholarships can seem daunting at times, but by applying to as many as possible leaves you with a chance of receiving more money than if you had not applied at all. Even if you do not have a plan for what you are going to do, mapping everything out allows you to get a better picture your future and get excited for the next chapter of your life.
When you start to attend your college classes, the most important thing to do is actually attend and participate in your classes. Many students enroll in courses and disappear for the entirety of the semester only to reappear for exams and earn poor grades or barely pass. Dr. Gregory Sojka, a professor at UC Clermont, teaches a class called “Exploring UC Clermont Programs and Majors” and talks about how to succeed in college. One of his tips for excelling in your classes is to sit in the “Teacher’s T,” which are the seats in the front row and those that are directly in front of where the professor stands. Students sitting in this area are more likely to be called on and more likely to participate in class, as they are the most visible to the professor.
Another important thing to do is to get to know the faculty. Talk to your professors and make yourself known. The student-to-teacher ratio at UC Clermont is small enough for your professors to get to know who you are in the classroom, but most other colleges don’t have this advantage. Make yourself into a person and not just another name on a professor’s roster. Get to know your professors and pay attention to their office hours. Their job is to help you to succeed, so take advantage of that opportunity to learn more and better educate yourself.
In addition to getting to know your professors, you should consider joining a social group. Colleges are a great way to find a group or organization to become a member of. You can find a place to belong in Greek organizations, such as sororities or fraternities, or you can opt for other groups like clubs or even religious affiliations. Regardless of how you choose to connect with your college community, it is crucial to successfully transition from high school to a foreign place where you have no commonality, structure, or accountability. Being a part of groups of any kind can help to keep you focused in college, but they can also become a distraction so it is important to be able to ask a friend to help you be accountable for yourself and prevent you from procrastinating or creating poor time management skills.
Time management is crucial to college success. In college, you will have to learn to juggle the priorities of your life. It is important to find where your main concerns lie, whether they be in your courses or not. Some aspects of life to keep into consideration include friends, family, work, finances, as well as various others. Regardless of what you choose is the most important, it is essential to set aside down time to rest.
Perhaps the most important thing to do in college is to use the resources that are available to you. Here at UC Clermont, there are many easily accessible programs readily available for all students such as Blackboard, Catalyst, UC Mail, Starfish, The Learning Center, Library, OneStop, as well as our free tutors and advisors to help you succeed. All of these can help to improve important skills such as time management, test taking, communication, finances, and boost your performance in college.
The University of Cincinnati offers many resources for undergraduate students and high school students looking into applying to attend UC. Most colleges in the Greater Cincinnati area offer tours, co-op programs, shadowing events, and many more things aspiring scholars should definitely consider looking into.
Applying to college can be a stressful experience, but is definitely worthwhile in the long run for those looking into furthering their education. You can read more about transitioning into college by following these UC links here: