What about College?

Image credit: Paragliding into Manali

Good question. Many home schooled students (and their parents) worry about the transition to college. Sometimes it’s a question of academic readiness, but more often the concerns seem to revolve around the idea of a very unfamiliar experience and environment. It’s scary. On top of dorm life, new classes, and a nearly infinite number of possible ways to spend free (or not-so-free) time, it means immersion among peers at a level that most home schoolers have never experienced.

Now before my fellow introverts become so frightened that they opt to skip college altogether, let me point out that college (like most things in life) is often what you make it. If you stress about being able to make friends, chances are it’s going to be a stressful process. If you’re convinced that your professor’s sole life goal is to make you fail the class, you’re probably not open-minded enough to do anything but fail it. If college has done anything for me, it’s taught me to be flexible.

A few other thoughts (these may or may not apply to you, but they definitely would have helped me when I started college):

Recognize what (or who) you take for granted. Like a mom who will kick you out of bed if you sleep through your alarm. Life is different when the people you most trust aren’t sitting in the next room.

Know that people don’t hate you. It’s true. The large majority of people will not be offended if you say hi to them. I know – crazy. Okay, most people probably won’t struggle with this like I did, but if you’re anything like me, the sooner you take this to heart, the better.

Learn how to research NOW. I did plenty of writing throughout high school, but somehow managed to largely avoid research papers. Don’t do this. You will save valuable time (and sanity) by internalizing good research techniques before you have to write that 13-page exegetical paper.

Do you have any tips for the home school-to-college transition?

Kayla

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About KaylaRose

I'm a writer and editor with a passion for effective communication. I also love reading, music, my family, and vanilla chai tea.
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7 Responses to What about College?

  1. shearini says:

    I totally agree with all of your tips!
    I believe that the college transition was easy for me personally is because in high school, I made a point to meet new people at my church and make them feel welcome. I also occasionally participated in large-scale mock campaigns, elections, and congress sessions that usually had five-hundred or so other high schoolers as well. We would be put in groups with people we didn’t know and forced out of our comfort zones to talk with complete strangers and persuade them to our cause, whether it be a presidential candidate or an amendment to the constitution.
    Basically, don’t be afraid to talk! But honestly most of the homeschooled people I have met had no problem adjusting.

  2. Rachelk says:

    Kayla,
    The tips you have here are essentials! I would agree with the “know that people don’t hate you”…because I am still learning this one. Also, (and maybe this is the English major in me talking) practicing writing papers is so helpful! You can’t get out of it in college. It is easier to figure it out before the big paper is looming above.
    Thanks!

  3. collegeshift says:

    In some ways there just isn’t any way to prepare for college as a home schooler. I went from an introverted home schooled kids in the woods of northern Minnesota to a 5,000 undergrad university in LA, California. Big shock. I guess the biggest way to prepare is just to understand it’s going to be different, and like you said, be flexible. It’s not going to be easy. You kind of just have to accept that.

  4. kirkistan says:

    Great tips!

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