The IU College Life Of A High School All-Star

Now I'm sure I share this story with many students just like me. All through high school I was an honors student, taking as many challenging courses as I could and succeeding in them. I was involved in everything from politics, to community service, to athletics; holding leadership positions in all of them. I did extremely well on all of my standardized tests. Needless to say, I thought I was ready to take college by storm. And this all changed too quickly for my liking. 

I was so accustomed to putting in minimal effort and seeing awesome results, especially when it came to academics. I came in with the mentality that, yes, college would be a little more difficult, but boy was I wrong! It was so much different than high school. I was on my own for the first time, responsible for feeding myself, making sure I got places on time, finishing all my work without reminders from my parents. I was not ready for this challenge. 

These are some of the key differences and the things I did to help get through them. 

1. Academics. This goes without saying, the classes are significantly harder. Not only is the content that you are learning significantly harder, but every other aspect of class is harder. The homework, the essays, the exams. One thing I was definitely not ready for were my 300 level French classes, which required me to write 8-12 page papers....in French! Something that my high school career had not prepped me for. One thing that really helped when it came to this school shock was studying hard and studying early. This is the only way to make sure that you know everything when it comes to exam time. And I know, its hard. But it will definitely be beneficial. 

2. Clubs/Organizations/Etc...CALM DOWN. That is the first thing I would advise any high achieving incoming student. You don't need to join everything that you think sounds remotely interesting. And trust me, there will be a lot. I promise you that you will not be able to be as involved as you were in high school. Join one club that is just a personal interest for you. And join another that relates to your major and something that can help develop you professionally. 

3. "Me time". I cannot even begin to stress the importance of taking some time for yourself. Whether it's working out, sitting outside, hanging out with friends, partying; whatever it is, you NEED to find time for yourself. If you don't make the time, then you cannot and will not succeed at everything else. I don't really know what else to say beyond "do it." 

Now, I'm not promising that with these tips you will have that 4.0, because trust me...I do not. But I can guarantee that they will make for a better college experience, especially coming from your high horse!

About The Author
Greg WatsonFinance and Marketing Major, Class of 2014