Congrats to all of you high school seniors on graduating and taking the next big step in life! I remember how special my senior year was, and even though I could not wait to get out of school and go on senior trip, I knew I would miss high school. Several of you might be taking the big step on to college, and I have a few tips and "pearls" I want to share with you so you feel prepared, comfortable, and ready.

It is officially summertime and none of us are even thinking much about school. That's OK, but a brand new school semester will be approaching quickly and you need to be prepared. College is a tad bit different from high school. You will be 100% responsible for everything. From purchasing books, keeping up with your grades, to scheduling classes, it's all on you!

Here are 10 helpful tips to get you ready for your first semester of college:

  1. Schedule your classes wisely. If you only have ten minutes in between classes, you won't want to run all the way across campus to get to your next class. When scheduling classes, look at the campus map and get a feel for how long it will take you to get from one class to the other.
  2. Plan a lunch break in your day. Having an hour off in between classes to eat lunch will do wonders for your mood and learning ability. If you can't squeeze in any time for lunch, pack healthy snacks or a sandwich to munch on while you're walking to class.
  3. Get your class textbooks the first week of classes. Always be prepared and stay on top of your game. Also, try to save a little cash and look on sites like,, or for cheaper books. Compare the prices!
  4. Start calendaring. Get a good electric or print calendar and enter all important times and dates such as when your classes meet and what days homework is due. Being organized and having every important date and assignment in your calendar will help tremendously.
  5. Get some helpful, school apps. I'm sure you all own a pretty, little iPhone- you will want some apps dedicated to college. Here are some great ones:
    iStudiez Pro (organizing your schedule)
    Pocket Lists (to-do lists)
    Evernote (note-taking)
    Wikipanion (Wikipedia)
    Chegg (study help)
    Graphing Calendar
    The Chemical Touch (periodic table)
    Instapaper (stores web pages)
    iTranslator (translation for language courses)
    Blackboard Learn
    My GPA Calculator
  6. Get familiar with your University's website. Know how to search for scholarly articles, library e-sources, grades, etc. You will be using the university portal almost every day of your college career.
  7. Get to know your teachers. In college, your teachers don't really have the time to know every person in all of their classes, especially if it's a huge class. It is your responsibility to introduce yourself to your teachers and always ask questions so they know you are interested in the class.
  8. Get involved in clubs and organizations. Whether it be a fraternity/sorority or College Republicans, you will always meet people the more you get involved.
  9. Find your favorite study place. Everyone eventually finds where they are most comfortable studying- at home, the library, or a nearby coffee shop.
  10. Take a deep breath and enjoy the new transformation in your life. College is different from high school, but it's a good different. You've come a long way- congratulate yourself!


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