We all know that the first step to landing our dream jobs is to get a college diploma. But before applying for entrance to a college or university of your choice, you must know that there are unique challenges you will have to face. By preparing for college life, you’ll have a better chance at succeeding – you know, landing the job of your dreams.
Knowing the application process
Filing your applications with each school.
A high school student wishing to earn a college diploma can use the Common Application. It is a college admission application that expedites a student’s application to any of more than 700 colleges and universities in 49 states in the US, as well as some institutions in China, Canada, and several European countries.
Imagine having to send out numerous application letters to various private or public colleges and universities in the United States and abroad. You will then need to wait for those institutions to reply to your application. This means that the application process alone can be quite stressful.
It’s also important to note that entrance to top schools is increasingly competitive. There are millions of high school students from different states and from other countries who will also be applying. While you’re waiting for a positive reply from the school you want to enrol in, you’ll also need to deal with projects and final exams. All of which can cause considerable amounts of stress to any student.
Thankfully, though, there are teachers whom you can turn to for counselling. They will work with guidance counsellors to help you plan your academic path and manage your applications better.
Researching your options
There are six-degree levels of postsecondary education: associate, bachelor, first-professional, master, advanced intermediate, and research doctorate. You can choose to get a college degree from any of the 5,300 colleges and universities in the United States.
If you are unsure about the course you should enrol in, you can ask advice from an educational advising center, which provides students guidance on higher education.
When deciding on a college or university, you should choose based on location, programs offered, majors, type of institution, athletic programs, scholarship grants, and the like. Then, make a short list to help you narrow down your choices. Think about why the schools you’ve chosen make a good fit for you. It’s also a good move to make a list of the pros and cons of each school. Then, rank each school from your most favorite to your least.
It would also help you make the best choice if you focus on your endgame. Where do you imagine yourself in four years? If you want to be the best software engineer in the country, research which school can best help you reach your goals.
Going to college means you’re setting yourself up to get the job of your dreams, so investigate each school’s job connections. Some colleges and universities hold job fairs, job interview opportunities, and the like. These could open a ton of opportunities for you, so it’s best to consider the school’s career center.
Considering your finances
Let’s face it. Going to college can set you up for a lifetime of debt.
One way to avoid paying for a college loan for the rest of your life is to find a school that offers financial aid packages. The federal government and some states offer grants, which are awarded to students based on their financial needs. This will be determined by your family’s income, which is reported on the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).
The school you are applying entrance to will consider your family’s finances and how much you can afford to pay for college. Then, they will award you a grant that will fill in the gap. Some schools could offer more than others, so it’s best to consider this when looking for a college to enrol in. If you are awarded a grant, a financial aid award letter will be sent together with your acceptance letter.
Another way to get financial help to afford a college education is to haggle over financial help. Write a formal appeal and then follow it up by making a phone call to the school. However, you should emphasize why you deserve such aid, and that you received more aid from another top college, if any.
In your appeal letter, make sure you thoroughly explain why you need and deserve financial aid. For example, you can mention in our letter that your family has other expenses, like medical bills, tuition fees for your siblings, etc.
Of course, you can also have a part-time job for eligible students. But to qualify, you need to submit the FAFSA first.
Surviving college life
- Explore your new home. Remember, it’s going to be your home for the next two to four years, so it’s best that you learn the lay of the land. You can do so by going to orientations and gatherings, which can also help you make new friends.
- Manage your time well. Although you will be provided a class schedule, it’s still your responsibility to show up on time. Aside from that, you’ll need to set aside enough time to study, go to your part-time job, and socialize. They key to surviving especially your freshman year is to have discipline.
- Talk to your professors. This is especially true if you have special circumstances, like a part-time job, or if you need to live outside the campus. Communicating with them right from the start can prevent problems later on. By building rapport with your teachers, you can easily ask questions or advice should you have any concern.
- Focus on your goals. Parties are abundant in college, especially if you live in a dorm. It’s okay to have fun occasionally. But never forget about your end goals.
- Make friends. College life can be tough. But it can be a lot less lonesome if you have friends to cheer you up. And the best way to make lasting friendships is by getting to know your dormmates and classmates on the first day.
Focusing on the endgame
The only way to survive college life with flying colors is if you focus on your goals. Think about the time when you’ll finally be able to get a diploma and work at the company you’ve always dreamed of working for.
Check out some tips for helping you concentrate without the help of pills or any medication.
- Get enough sleep. You won’t be able to carry out your responsibilities if you’re not well rested. Sleep deprivation could also take a toll on your health. Make sure that you manage your time well so you can have at least eight hours of sleep every night.
- Grab a cup of coffee or tea. Caffeine can help you wake up and put attention to where it’s needed, be it a project or finals exam.
- Tune in to your favorite tunes. Some people can concentrate more with rock metal in the background, while others with classical music. Whatever floats your boat, as long as it helps you focus on what you’re doing.
- Take short breaks. A study conducted by the University of Illinois found that those who took short breaks in between doing a certain task for 50 minutes were able to perform better.
- Eat right. Eating healthy means all your internal organs are functioning well. This means that you won’t get sick, which could distract you from your studies.
Getting outside help
It can be hard to do assignments or study on your own. Even if you have professors or classmates that can help you, there are times when they are not available for some questions. Thankfully, there are online tutors that can help you with difficult majors, writing essays, solving problems, etc.
What’s great about online tutoring service is that it’s available 24/7. This means that you’ll be able to seek help no matter the time of day, helping you make sure that you’ll be completely prepared for the next day’s classes.