Transitioning To College – Answering Your Questions

Graduating high school and going to a University is one of the most important times in young adulthood. You’re on your own for the first time, possibly in a new city or state, finally able to be independent and explore who you are. It is overwhelming and freeing. There are a lot of things no one prepares you for. Things such as how to time block, how to apply for financial aid if you’re financially independent, how to live without a curfew or someone to report to. Little things that change your whole life if you don’t have the skill already or choose the wrong path.

There are a lot of college advice tips out there, and it can be important to take advice with a grain of salt. Your routine and your goals are not the same as everyone else’s. You need to know these things about yourself before you plan and execute a routine that works for you so that you can transition as smoothly as possible.

  • If you are a morning or night person.
  • How you study best (auditory vs visual, all-nighter vs spread out).
  • What your budget is.
  • Any dietary restrictions.
  • Housing preferences (clean or messy, stay up late or morning bird).
  • Class schedule.
  • If you plan to work part-time, full-time or at all.
  • Any clubs or extracurriculars you are interested in.

Once you figure those things out, it will be easier for you to make a timetable of your days and plan accordingly.

Some of you had questions about the transition in college and how to thrive when you get there, and I have answers. I am entering my third year at UCF, have a 3.8 GPA, double majoring, and has been on the dean’s list every semester. But, I am not the perfect student. I struggle with socializing sometimes as well as not having enough hours in the day, but I can give you the best advice I can!

How do you stay motived when you’re extremely stressed?

Managing stress is a huge part of success. Some people experience stress in more extreme ways than others, but it is all about how you react to it. When I get stressed, I take a step back, figure out what exactly is stressing me out, and figure out a way to fix it. If it is finals, I block out more time to study and start weeks ahead of time. feeling prepared is a huge stress reliever. I like to think about my goals when I am stressed. I write them down and streamline my process of getting there. The future is a huge stressor for many, but sitting down and planning for it will make it seem way less intimidating. Just remember who you are, why you are doing what you’re doing, and try to make a plan. take a deep breath, do a facemask, and relax. It will be ok.

Simple ways to stay organized daily?

This one is simple if you can stick with it. Find organizational tools that work for you. For me, I like todo lists, separated spaces for all of my important work, and a planner. I have a physical paper planner as well as Google calendar. This allows me to have clear set goals for the day as well as a time table for everything that needs to get done. I put things on my schedule as soon as I find out about them, even if it’s months in advance. That way I always have a reference for what I can and cannot fit into my schedule. Also, every day make a list of 3 non-negotiable things to do. Whether it be to go to the gym, a meeting, whatever. You need to set those boundaries for yourself to stay organized.

How do you stop yourself from falling into the trap of partying instead of studying?

Two words: priorities and balance. When you get to college, it is the first time, pretty much, that you are 100% in control of how you spend your time and how much effort you give. You need to think about what you want to do in life. I think of it like, why party excessively now, when I can do that when I’m rich, you know? I prefer to focus on how well I can do now. I also remember how I feel the next day and how it affects my productivity. Going out every day would result in a whole day of downtime depending on what I drink and when I go to bed. Is that worth it? Going out will always be there. But at the same time, I don’t just cut off going out ever. It’s all about balance. Maybe set boundaries like only partying on nights when you don’t have class the next day. Allow yourself to have fun but also work hard academically. Social life and grades go hand in hand in making a well-rounded person.


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