Preparing for the Transition to Higher Education
Transitioning to higher education, such as degree level courses after taking advance placement exams, can be a major change and will take time getting used to. There are some things you can do to help yourself though.
Talking about your concerns
When applying for your higher education course, you will have the chance to talk to an admissions counselor. The Wilkes application process offers this, so you can be sure the course is right for you.
If you know other people who have been students, try talking to them about their experiences. Hearing from someone who has studied the course you’re about to take, can reveal things you might not have considered. This will make the transition easier for you, as you’ll be better prepared.
Learning to be more independent
Managing your own time might seem like freedom, but unless you learn to be self-motivated, you will struggle to get a grasp of your learning, hand in coursework, pass any exams, be on time for work placements and follow a healthy lifestyle to improve your energy levels. Part of being independent is proving you can do all these things without being asked. If you’re studying in person and living alone for the first time, this transition can be more difficult. However, for students who are learning online, there is the need to develop skills and qualities to keep up with the learning and to dedicate sufficient time to gain your qualification.
Take time for self-care
It may seem difficult to take time out for yourself when coursework needs to be done and you have a long list of everything you haven’t finished. Yet, trying to do all this while you’re physically and mentally exhausted will only make it more difficult. Setting out time to look after yourself (and sticking to it) will ensure you’re ready to take on everything that higher learning has to throw at you.
Don’t let things get on top of you
The increased workload may feel overwhelming, and even if you have friends around you, or other students online, it may feel isolating. So, accessing support from tutors, other students and close family is important.
If your learning is mostly online, at the start of the course set up a group chat on social media or via email with other students. If some students are local to you, arrange regular meet-ups. Setting these up early in your studies will help to build friendships. The support system will already be in place if things get too much for any of the students in the group. As you’re all going through the same thing, you will have an understanding of the problems each other are facing and the difficulties in adapting to higher education.
Higher education may have its challenges when you first learn how much more work is involved, compared to your previous schooling. Surrounding yourself with supportive university staff and other students will help with the transition.