The process of transitioning to college is often difficult for every student. You are suddenly introduced to thousands of new faces, classes, and, often, a new living situation. If you are a previously homeschooled student, the following is a guide for homeschool students who are transitioning to college.
How to Transition to College from Homeschool
Reach Out to Other Students Before School Starts
Most schools provide opportunities for incoming students to meet other peers before classes start. For example, new student orientations are often wonderful chances to meet other students who are just starting, too. Many schools will also have class Facebook pages, so using this platform can help build a group of friends before classes even start.
If you will be living in a dorm, reach out to your roommate before move-in day and schedule a time to meet up for coffee or lunch. The more classmates you become familiar with before classes begin, the smaller the campus will feel during your first weeks of school.
Get Involved with Extracurriculars
One of the easiest ways to meet new people and acclimate to college life is to get involved with extracurriculars. Clubs, honors societies, part-time campus jobs, or intramurals are all great ways to meet other students and build a network of friends and acquaintances on campus.
The more you get involved, the more you will see familiar faces around campus, and college will feel like a much less overwhelming experience. Participating in extracurriculars will also help you build your resume, which will be beneficial when it comes time to apply for jobs after graduation.
Network with Other Homeschoolers
If you were in a homeschool support group or co-op, you likely know a lot of other students in your community. Therefore, you will probably know other students who are also transitioning to college at the same time as you.
Reaching out to these students throughout your first year will allow you to share experiences, give and receive advice, and discuss classes. Other homeschoolers will relate to your feelings and stresses around college better than students who attended traditional high schools.
Staying in touch with other homeschooled students and friends from high school will provide a support system while you acclimate to college life.
Practice Time Management
One of the many benefits of a homeschool education is the flexibility to make your own schedule. Although you can often select classes offered at times you prefer, your college schedule will have less flexibility than you may have had throughout high school.
Rather than working at your own pace, you will likely have stricter deadlines to meet. For this reason, it is important to develop time management and prioritization skills.
For example, creating a study schedule for a test that is coming up will make sure you are reviewing the material over time and won’t have to pull an all-nighter studying the night before. Each class will offer a syllabus with important dates throughout the semester.
Filling out an agenda and reviewing it periodically will ensure you are aware of any important dates coming up for projects, quizzes, and tests.
Step Outside Your Comfort Zone
College provides a perfect opportunity for all students to try new things and develop their unique interests. Stepping outside your comfort zone to gain new experiences will help develop important skills and lifelong memories. Although it feels natural and comfortable to stick with similar activities you did in high school, trying at least one new thing can help you expand your skills, find new interests, and meet new people.
Finding new clubs, trying different workout classes, and participating in intermural sports are just a few examples of new things you can try on campus.
In addition to getting involved in extracurriculars outside your comfort zone, you can also take classes that cover subjects you wouldn’t typically study. These courses will probably count as required classes or electives and may introduce you to new areas of interest. You may end up finding an area of study you love and want to pursue throughout college.
Meet with Your Teachers
As a homeschool student, you are used to a personalized learning experience with one-on-one or small-group instruction. College courses, however, will likely have a minimum of 20 students in a small course and up to 300 students in a large lecture. This can feel intimidating, but meeting with your professors will help you feel more comfortable in class.
You will feel more confident to address questions or concerns with an instructor you know rather than one you see lecture twice per week. Most college professors and instructors will hold office hours, which is a time for students to ask questions or chat about course material.
College is the perfect chance for students to explore interests, meet new people, and develop valuable skills that will help them be successful throughout their lives. For homeschoolers, the nerve-racking parts of college can feel even more overwhelming; however, the right preparation and attitude will allow homeschooled students to have a wonderful college experience.
Donna is a Content Creator, Marketer, Brand Ambassador, Social Media Consultant, former teacher, wife, and proud mom. Blog by Donna encompasses all that… she writes about family life and being a woman while weaving in articles about the brands and products she and her family love.