Okay, you've graduated, now what? You are a little kid anymore and you have to make your own decisions. Gosh, there are so many. Which college do I choose? What classes do I take? How many hours should I enroll in? These are just a few things you will soon be faced with. It can be a very overwhelming feeling (I know because I've been there), but relax because these will be some of the best years of your life. If you're armed with some really good advice, college will be a huge success for you. Keep this mind too, this a a fresh start for you. If you didn't do so well in high school, you now have the opportunity to redeem yourself. You can and will make all your friends wonder what happened to you. This is the first day of the rest of your life!
First things first. Take a deep breath and then relax. Everything is going to go smoothly.
Second, Hopefully you have a good idea of where you are wanting to go by this point. Let me suggest a community college first. I say this for two reasons. One reason is because a community college is significantly cheaper than a senior college. The other reason is because a community college is an easier transition. You will get the same quality of education on a smaller scale. In order to obtain a degree you must have a certain number of college classes. Many of your basic classes are a lot easier at a community college. The classes are smaller and more one on one help can be given. Community colleges also have less people attending so it is easier to get to know the people you go to school with.
Third, do not overload yourself. I good schedule for a college student who does not work is about 18 hours. If you do work, try 15 hours to start with. Also, be sure to mix your classes up. Try to take 1 easy class, 2 average classes, and no more than two really difficult classes. If you load yourself up with 18 hours of really difficult classes, you will likely get discouraged. Once that happens, you will lose interest and your self confidence will plummet. Also, don't take two similar classes together. By this I mean don't take two maths or two science courses together. The information can be closely related and can cause you to get the info mixed up. Your adviser can help you decide what to take, but don't rely on them 100 percent. They have a lot of students to advise and sometimes they mistakes too. It is up to you to be sure that you take the classes that you need.
Fourth, college really differs from high school in the sense that you are given a lot more freedom. The instructors don't stand over you to be sure that you understand or see that you get your work done. That is up to you. If you don't understand something, ask. I have never seen an instructor who was not willing to help someone that needed help. It is your responsibility to keep up with your work. If the instructor gives you work, do it. He/she may or may not check it, but I promise they have a reason behind what they do. If you fall behind in class, there is a good chance you will not make it. They will not force you to do anything. Many classes don't have homework and the instructors only test 4 or 5 times a semester. With less grades going in the book, it is essential that you do well on all of them. Also, take really good notes. It will become evident after the first class meeting how the instructor teaches and what they expect. Knowing what they expect from you is definitely a big advantage on your part.
Last, but not least, STUDY. This is important. Some people have to study less than others, but studying is always a good idea. Be prepared for your tests. There are many different things you can do to improve your study habits. Do whatever it takes. When you are prepared you will be less stressed and less stress usually results in a better grade.
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