Helping high school students prepare for college I frequently talk to students about time management and study skills.  What is ONE thing that you would tell college-bound high school students to help them be better prepared for college? (I do realize that telling them something and getting them to pay attention to what you say are two very different things!) 

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I would warn them about the perils that social distractions can cause students who are away from home for the first time. Alcohol, drugs, and sex are a few of the more serious distractions; but other things, such as employment and clubbing also tend to get in the way of study...

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I would warn them about the perils that social distractions can cause students who are away from home for the first time. Alcohol, drugs, and sex are a few of the more serious distractions; but other things, such as employment and clubbing also tend to get in the way of study time. Secondly, I would warn students that daily homework and long reading and writing assignments are the norm, and that the classwork of high school is only a fraction of what will be expected of them in college.

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I think that self-discipline, which would include time management, is the most important piece. High school students are so used to being reminded, encouraged, and supported that making the transitions to either college or work feels like being plunged into another world.  We see this attitude in the discussion boards here regularly; students who think that the teacher is responsible for their success. In order to be ready to exit high school -no matter where the next stop is - students need to have the self discipline to accept that they are in charge of their own lives, and that they will be responsible for the consequences of all their decisions, both good and bad.

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Telling students to focus on college as an academic experience (not only a social one) and helping to emphasize the importance of writing are both very good tactics, I think, in helping to prepare students for the transition from high school to college.

Asking students to think on their own with analysis and especially synthesis assignments in various subjects can really help to prepare students for the type of academic responsibilities they will have in college.

With so many standards and standardized tests to prepare students for in high school, sometimes the work of pushing students to original thinking falls out of the college prep equation...

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I also agree about the importance of writing skills.  It's important that writing be clear in thought and phrasing and correct in grammar and punctuation. Even more than in the past, writing is being stressed in colleges because of the "writing across the curriculum" movement. Students who cannot write well will have a much harder time in college than those who can.

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I agree with Post #2's point about writing, but I think that reading is even more important and is just as deficient.  I think that high school students are not asked to do enough reading (even of textbooks) of things that are in any way complex.  When they get to college they tend to get overwhelmed by the amount and the level of the materials they are expected to read.

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I would tell them to get their priorities straight. Too many kids get to college and go crazy with the social aspects, or get overwhelmed with college life. If they can somehow learn to ground themselves and achieve a healthy balance in high school, they will be much better off.
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I would encourage them to work on writing skills. Study skills are important, but in my experience, many college students are simply not sophisticated enough as writers to be successful in college classes, and it is frustrating.

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