For college freshmen, the new environment can be quite intimidating. They often feel inadequate and out of place during the first academic year. However, with a little effort your college transition can be smooth and manageable. If you are prepared to take on the challenge, are motivated to learn and are willing to make an adjustment, university will turn out to be just as enjoyable and exciting as high school. The information given below will provide you a clear idea of what to expect during your initial days at university:
University is very different from high school and these differences will be soon apparent to new students. The environment at university is very independent since students are expected to take responsibility of their education, their classes and assignments. University students are required to put in more work and study longer hours to keep up with the academic course. Typically, it is also easier to interact and form friendships at university than at high school. Finding fellow students with common interests is easier.
The workload in universities is heavier compared to high school. University students should expect a lot of writing and reading. However, this will mainly depend on the degree you are studying towards. Other than the hours spent at classes, students also have to devote a lot of time studying, completing assignments and reading after class. Students should come prepared to work harder and be more consistent with their studies in order to be successful at university.
University classes are typically larger and this may come across as intimidating to certain students, especially if their high school had smaller class sizes. Students are often required to participate in class discussions. However, larger classes are often less interactive and rely mainly on lecture. In classes where the size is smaller, the study pattern will usually be a combination of discussions and lectures.
University promises freedom and independence and most students are quite excited about it. However, they usually face problems adjusting because they do not anticipate the responsibility that often comes with independence. Students are responsible not just for their academic performance but also their personal lives, shopping, budgeting, cooking and managing a household if they are living outside the campus. For new university students, it might be overwhelming to keep up with all the responsibilities.
Other than the time spent in lectures, students also need to complete assignments, work in labs and read. Time management is one of the most important things at university. Many students also have a part-time job. There are other extracurricular activities, friends and personal life to balance. Making everything work well takes some practice and some clever time management.
University is much more demanding than high school and students have to work hard to keep up with everything that is required of them. However, with a little adjustment, time management and support, you will be able to quickly make the transition.
High school is the time when you are transforming from careless “toddlers” to responsible adults. It is the time when you can no longer depend on “borrowed” ideas and opinions. You need to take control of your life and decide what you really want to make out of it.
This transformation comes with its fair share of stress and bafflement. It is pretty difficult for a teenager to make a decision of this magnitude. There are thousands of career options available to you at this point. The idea behind career planning for high school students is to give you an idea what it is going to be like once you are out of high school.
Career planning for high school students is aimed to inform you about the number of options available. Your teachers and mentors assess you on the basis on your performance in school and your personal interests. A framework is laid which highlights the areas where you would “presumably” work well. In the end, however, it all depends on you.
Here’s the catch nevertheless. When you are going through career planning courses, you are being assessed on the basis of your academic performance to date. This involves the scores you’ve obtained in different courses and the ones which seem to come to you naturally. For this evaluative measure to be considered appropriate, you should be making equal effort in all courses.
Examinations gauge your overall grasp in a subject. They also constitute a major part of your final course scores. If you are willing to score well in your courses, this is where you should be making an extra effort.
There are virtually innumerable exam tips for school students that you can use for your benefit. Here are a few that might help you apportion equal attention to all your subjects so that none of them are underrepresented in your final reports.
- Divide Your Time. There are 24 hours in a day – that makes 168 hours in a week. Seeing the number of subjects you would have, a viable strategy is to divide them over the week instead of a day. Apportion time according to the complexity of your courses and the difficulty that you face. That would mean spending more time with subjects that challenge you instead of those that you consider easy. Nevertheless, leave no subject untouched through the week!
- Eat, Relax and Sleep Well. Your health is the most important thing. Reckless routines can take you readily towards decline. And when you are not feeling well, you would naturally not be able to focus on your studies. Dedicate time from your schedule for these necessities of life so you can stick to your academic routines as well.
- Make It Interesting. It is up to you how you study. Create activities around your study time. Use colors and highlighters to throw life to your textbooks and notes. Find attractive stationary that you want to use while creating notes. This would appear to be one of the unconventional exam tips for school students – but it works!
Graduating from high school is a time for celebration and making plans for the future. This is a crucial juncture your life, when some major decisions have to be made. In determining where to pursue post-secondary education, it is wise to consider all the options.
By their senior year, many students with college aspirations have already selected an institution (or are close to doing so). Others haven’t made a decision because they are apprehensive, or not prepared or qualified for college. They would benefit from a 13th year of secondary education.
If you are one of these students, you should be aware of the alternative path offered by private postgraduate schools. Their programs are designed to provide an academic bridge to get students through the so-called “gap year” between high school and college.
Reasons to Attend PG School
You might feel that you are just not ready, emotionally or psychologically, to take on the challenges of college life. You may be unsure about being able to succeed academically or cope socially. This is not unusual, as people mature at different rates. Some students need a little more time to grow up. Because boys tend to mature more slowly, they make up a large majority of PG school students.
Perhaps your grades and test scores are not good enough to get you into the institution of your choice. Consider using the gap year to prepare for college-admission tests. Part of that process can be getting good grades in PG school, while taking courses you may have neglected in high school.
If you are a student-athlete trying to win a sports scholarship, or admission to a particular college or university, there are PG schools with sports programs. Performing well on the field or court, as well as in the classroom, during the gap year may improve your chances.
PG School Benefits
These institutions are primarily concerned with preparing high school graduates for college. Their academic programs reinforce, and expand upon, lessons learned in secondary school. They give students a chance to get good marks in subjects that lowered their high school grade-point averages. Some schools offer advanced-placement courses and college-credit classes.
At a PG school, you can expand your general knowledge, upgrade note-taking and other learning skills, and sharpen studying methods. Because most of these institutions are boarding schools, they also provide training in how to live away from home and get along with new people. You will build confidence, develop emotionally, and learn how to handle conflicts.
All the students at a PG school are about the same age, and they have chosen this type of institution for similar reasons. You may find that you have a lot in common with them, and make friends quickly. You might feel more comfortable living at a PG school, rather than in a university dorm with older students.
PG School Options
According to a recent survey, 150 institutions worldwide offered postgraduate school programs. Nearly all are in the United States, Canada, and Europe. Most of them are private schools that added a 13th grade. The only institution established exclusively as a PG school, the Brighton Academy in Maine, is for those intending to enter the U.S. Naval Academy.
While most PG schools are co-ed, a number of them admit only boys or girls. A majority of those designed for boys are military academies, institutes, and boot camps. There are about 25 private, military boarding schools (including some with girls’ and co-ed programs) in the United States and Canada. Other boys’ schools with PG programs include the Kiski and Phelps schools in Pennsylvania, the Salisbury and South Kent schools in Connecticut, and the Trinity-Pawling School in New York.
Among the institutions with PG schools exclusively for girls are the Emma Willard School in New York, Ethel Walker School in Connecticut, Foxcroft School in Virginia, Grier School and Linden Hall in Pennsylvania, Miss Hall’s School and Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Massachusetts, and Oldfield’s School and St. Timothy’s School in Maryland.
Some of these institutions infuse their academics with the teachings of various religions. There are Catholic, Jewish, Muslim, Lutheran, Episcopal, Seventh Day Adventist, and other faith-based private schools (some of which offer PG programs).
Some private schools are created for students pursuing visual and performing arts, writing, architecture, fashion, interior design, and other disciplines. There are schools that cater to student-athletes by offering baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, softball, tennis, track, or volleyball teams. Also available are institutions with accommodations and programs for students with special needs due to physical disabilities, learning disorders, and other issues.
Many students start college before they are really ready for it. More than half of them never graduate. PG schools offer high school graduates another year of studies to better prepare them for college.
Do your homework in selecting a PG school. Tuition rates, as well as the cost of room and board, vary widely. Some employ different teaching methods than others. The courses are not the same, either, so it is important to fully research schools’ programs. Assistance in choosing a private school is available from the Independent Educational Consultants Association.