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Student Access Center

Transitioning to College

Making the transition from high school to college is both exciting and, at times, nerve-wracking! Here are a few suggestions that will make the transition, if not smooth sailing, at least less bumpy.

Plan to start the admissions process early, especially if you are requesting housing accommodations.

Review documentation which may include an IEP; 504 Plan; evaluations; and/or written communication from medical providers and be able to articulate your needs based on the documentation. 

Advocate for yourself. During high school, your parents acted as an advocate for you by communicating with the school concerning your educational needs. Now that you are in college, it is your responsibility to advocate for yourself and communicate your needs.

Studying is an obvious skill to bring to campus. In high school, you may have been given time in class to complete your homework. Not so in college. You may spend anywhere from 12 - 15 hours a week in class. You should expect to study outside of class at least 2 hours for each hour you are in class. At some point during your academic career, you may need the help of a tutor. Research the different options that are available for tutoring. Another difference is the amount of reading that is required. You may find learning new study strategies beneficial in this new environment.

Test taking will also look and feel different than it did in high school. In high school, your tests may have been frequent and over a relatively small amount of information. You may have been given the opportunity to retake tests.  In college, testing is usually infrequent and the opportunity to retake a test is usually not an option. To handle the stress of test taking, you might want to look at The Bookshelf which offers online resources covering topics such as stress management and test taking strategies.

Organize your life! College life will be easier if you have a system in place to keep yourself organized whether it be an app on your smartphone or a calendar on your desk. Staying organized also means that you are paying attention to the course syllabus. This is where a professor lets you know when assignments are due, when exams are scheduled, and other pertinent information. You may also want to consider regularly scheduled meetings with Academic Coaching to keep you on track.

Ask for help when you need it. Talk to your professors, academic advisor, and or access advisor. Don't wait until the end of the semester when time is running out and options are limited. 

Set realistic goals for yourself. You have already met one goal by graduating from high school. Be willing to put forth the effort it will take to meet your goals but, when things don't go according to plan, always remember to be kind to yourself.

Technology may or may not have been a part of high school.  Anymore, technology skills are required, if you are to succeed in college.  Adaptive technologies such as text-to-speech can be beneficial, but only if you are proficient.  Be curious!  Learn all you can before you come to campus.

Join an activity or club and become involved in campus life. Yes, your studies should be your #1 priority. However, making the effort to find a group that welcomes you is a big step in your enjoyment and excitement in being part of the K-State family!