Helping high school students prepare for collegeI frequently talk to students about time management and study skills.  What is ONE thing that you would tell college-bound high school students to...

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!) 

Expert Answers
pacorz eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

e-martin eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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...

bullgatortail eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

vangoghfan eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

litteacher8 eNotes educator| Certified Educator
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.
rrteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

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.

mjay25 | Student

I would try to instill in them the feeling of becoming a responsible adult and independent, in that I would tell them that their transferal to college opens the way for their own independent views as academics and contributors to society. They can make their own voice be heard.

I would also tell them to take college seriously, some like to say 'study hard then play hard', but I would tell them that if they grasp the essentials of good writing, reading and analytical skills in college - then they make things a lot easier later on. They need to build good foundations and make the most of their time there, and that what they do in these crucial years will considerably affect their employment prospects later on. I'd mention it looks good if you take extra classes during the summer, and join extra-curricular activities like sports clubs and creative writing or book clubs. 

I would personally put together some sort of video or PowerPoint, showing kids who cannot go to college for some reason or another, and express that they are lucky that they can.

I would more than anything want to inspire them. And tell them that college will open a whole load of opportunities for them, if they are willing and open to take them.


just-s | Student

i agree with all of the posts above.

we have to prepare them because college life is very different compared to schooling life. you are bound to come across many challenges but have to deal with them correctly.

there are many temptations out there but tell them that college is a place to study and after they have completed their studies and settled down then they can have fun but for now be serious with your studies

chrluo | Student

Many of the students need to improve writing skills. To be a good writer, however, s/he must first be a good reader. They need to build up their vocabulary through reading, and lots of reading. Each time we see a new word, it's an opportunity to incease the vocabulary. More often than not, people just let it pass by, because we are not willing to take a minute to look up the word in a dictionary. To help overcome that problem, your students might enjoy using a free dictionary toolbar, which provides instant lookup of an English word without opening a dictionary or going to a dictionary website. You will see the word definiton in a popup box when you click and hightlight a word on a web page, or enter it in a box.