Is College Really That Different From High School? A Few Tips for Getting into Gear

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June 24, 2021 by

I came into college thinking it was going to be no sweat. I mean high school definitely had its difficulties—math tests were often a struggle and some projects were more involved than others—but there were definitely times where I could briefly skim material for a test and do just fine. So that being said, I knew college would be tougher, but I wasn’t prepared for just how much tougher or how big of an adjustment it would be. College is fantastic, but it’s also a challenge that’ll push and grow you in a whole bunch of different ways. That’s not meant to scare you or freak you out at all, so don’t freak out; I’m just saying that there are a few things that would have been helpful to know beforehand. So, with that, here are some heads ups that will hopefully help you mentally prepare and kick into gear for college!


Be ready to really apply yourself

Classes are pretty rigorous. You’re not going to want to do any brief skimming before exams—I’m speaking from experience here. Yes, make sure you’re having fun and making friends and lightening up, but at the same time, make sure you’re cutting out lots of time for hard core studying and deep focus. One of Cedarville’s core values is excellence in effort, and that’s exactly what the professors here will expect from you. Be ready to work hard and really apply yourself—earn those good grades! It’s a challenge, but you can do it!


Give yourself a little slack

Ah yes, this is the kicker. Work hard and do your best, but if you don’t get the A, it’s not the end of the world. Sometimes it can be frustrating when you try really hard but don’t get the grade you hoped for. It’s going to happen—I’m telling you right now. There are going to be exams for which you study hours and still don’t get what you wanted. There are going to be assignments where you think you did great and are shocked when you lost more points than you thought you would. So, give yourself some slack, and remember that grades aren’t everything. I’m preaching to myself with that one. It’s so easy for me to get super too stressed out and then be way too hard on myself when I don’t get the grade I want. Don’t do that. It’s a bummer, but just take a deep breath, maybe go punch a pillow or something, and move on.


Your advisor is there for a reason, so USE that resource!

Ask for help! With college comes more independence, but don’t let that deter you from asking for help. You’ll have an advisor from your department who can aid you with things like planning your classes, helping you figure out different avenues you can take with your major, and things like that. It was so helpful for me when I felt like I had no idea what I had to do for classes or how to plan ahead to have someone who did know what to do and could answer my questions. They’re there to help, so don’t be afraid to ask them to!


Time management. It’s MASSIVELY important

There’s a reason I used the word massively. And there’s a reason it’s in all caps. And italicized. I could not stress this point enough! College is a grind, and if there’s one way to make it even tougher on yourself, it’s to manage your time poorly. Stay organized, don’t procrastinate, prioritize wisely, and plan ahead. You’re going to be juggling what feels like a bajillion different things all at once, so time management is absolutely key! 


I hope these little tips are beneficial in helping you mentally prepare for coming to Cedarville and getting into the college gear!

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