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Transitioning to College

Dear Scarlett,
I want to transition to college. I’m a little nervous because it’s been many years since I have been in school. Any advice? —Nervous Nelly

Dear Nelly,
First, visit the college and speak with a guidance counselor. Since everyone’s going back to school situation is different, a good counselor can tell you how to proceed.

Next, visit the financial aid office. If you need it, ask how to apply for it. The counselors there will tell you what to do.

Then enroll and register. Some schools even allow for online enrollment and registration. However, enroll wisely. Don’t overload yourself with classes. A good rule of thumb is for every hour you sit in a classroom, you will have three hours of homework and preparation time. There are classes that take more time than that. You will figure what these are. These are usually your “that is my worst subject” classes, however, they can also be the classes that deal with your major. If you are able to enroll full-time, which is twelve to fifteen credit hours, you are working a full-time job in homework and preparation. It adds up to a thirty-six to forty-hour workweek, when you do the math.

Another good idea is to walk around the campus and scope out where your classes are going to be. Do this about one week before class starts. Visit an information desk to obtain a campus map. This way when you start going, you won’t get all worked up because you don’t know where you are going.

The next good idea is to familiarize yourself with the library and talk to the librarian. It’s good to get the rapport going early. You never know when you need something for that research paper or just a quiet place to study.

If you have a documented disability, visit the ADA office so you can get accommodations.

Lastly, have a good talk with your friends and family. You are going to have to give up time with them to study and get the good grades. Don’t be afraid to clear up a misunderstanding if it arises. Believe me, they do happen.