Expect a Challenge

Are you ready for college? For most of you who are starting college as freshman or are in college already you have probably heard this question countless times. Although you may be sick of it, this question holds a lot of weight. I would argue that no one is really 100% ready for college, especially those just starting out as freshmen. The reason for this is that college involves a lot more than going to class, studying, and taking exams. You might be ready to do the three things I just said (although we are pretty sure there is still some uncertainty), but there is so much more you need to deal with in college. In fact, it is hard to imagine that anyone knows everything about being a college student.

Part of the problem for students in college is that many students do not think about college as a challenge. Like all challenges, college requires a set of special skills in order to overcome the difficulties that college can present. Moreover, it is important to state right from the start that it is really the case that college is not “13th Grade”. There are a number of reasons high school is not the same as college, but let’s touch on two of these right now.

First, of course, part of the difference between high school and college is that not everyone from your high will be attending your college. There will likely be students from all across the state your college is located, as well as students from across the United States and from a number of foreign countries.

Second, there is the subject matter you will be dealing with in your courses. Although there may be a few exceptions, in general your college courses will be qualitatively different from those you had in high school. The exception might be a specific Advanced Placement (AP) course you had in high school. But, even with these AP courses what you will learn in college often is pretty different than your high school courses. A lot of this difference is typically related to the emphasis on research in all of your college courses compared to your high school courses. That is, in high school you typically learn a lot of content, but in college there is a premium on discussing the process of discovery.

Get yourself ready for the challenge—you’ll soon find that being prepared will lead to an amazing college experience!

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