Top 5 High School to College Transition Tips

Wednesday, August 24, 2022

Transitioning from high school to university can be challenging for both students and parents. Experts share their top 5 high school to college transition tips to ease this important process.

Even before arriving on campus, students should begin safeguarding their emotional well-being.

Media coverage of admissions typically focuses on scandals, ridiculously low acceptance rates, and other subjects that cause anxiety in people, particularly students and their parents.

If you want to know more about admissions read this article: Rising High School Seniors And College Admissions

Too much time is spent trying to make the college application process better for some youngsters and the people who support them in their efforts to enter and progress through these universities.

According to experts quoted in an article from the New York Times, the actual transition from high school to college receives proportionally less attention.

Whether or not a student succeeds in college depends on how they handle this challenging period of adjustment. If disregarded, it might lead to discontent, apathy, or in the worst case, disenrollment.

Take into account these tips from experts in their field who have assisted young adults and their families during times of change according to an article at

1. Embrace Change

Once the thrill of change has worn off, having support "networks" in their new location is imperative to a balanced college experience. 

“We strongly encourage students to identify sources of connection in their new community as they begin their transition and before moving to campus. Networks of support on a college campus could be First-year Advisors or Counselors, Resident Assistants (RAs), professors and university staff members, peer groups with similar interests, or from similar communities”, says Megan Corazza, Ed.D. Counseling Department Chair, Sage Creek High School, CA.

To know more read this article: Ways to Start Preparing High School Seniors for College Next Year

2. Mental Health Check

According to a report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a large number of teenagers are struggling. At least 1 in 3 high school students have said to feel sadness or hopelessness, a 40% increase since 2009.

But when it’s time to help teenagers prepare for college or postsecondary school, mental health is the least of the priority for parents. A 2017 survey reported that more than 700 parents and guardians did not discuss whether their teens felt any anxiety or depression.

Both parents and teenagers need to start making plans now to prepare for and maintain mental health during the significant move to college.

Experts say that well-intentioned remarks implying that college years are the pinnacle of life don't truly benefit college students. There will be good and bad days for every student, therefore we shouldn't make any assumptions otherwise.

“Instead, we can focus on the fact that colleges are designed to help students grow, and that all growth comes with it's ups and downs.”, according to Lisa Damour, Ph.D., author of “untangled: Guiding teenage girls through the seven transitions into adulthood”.

3. Take Your Time

Experts seem to have reached a collective consensus that the first year should be thought of as ‘The Getting Comfortable year’ to relieve the pressure.

Harlan Cohen, bestselling author of “The Naked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues You Might Run Into in College”, agrees: since “allows for the normal and natural discomfort that comes with change”.

We are frequently excited and even distracted by the many changes simultaneously taking place in our adaptation to the new surroundings and in establishing routines when moving to somewhere new, such as a college or university campus, or living in a different location or community.

4. Find Your Own Beat

Anthony E. Jones, M.Ed., Vice-President of Enrollment Management and Student Experience, Bethune-Cookman University shares that in his opinion: “There is a rhythm to college life. Every student habitually settles into a waltz with their environment as they navigate the daily dynamics of their lived experience, and so will you. So, create good habits and enjoy the dance.”

“Studying is important, but also finding a community that will sustain you for the next few years is probably more important right now.” shares – Denise Pope, Ph.D., Challenge Success co-founder, Stanford University senior lecturer, author of “Doing School”: How We Are Creating a Generation of Stressed-Out, Materialistic, and Miseducated Students”.

5. Selfcare is best

Make a plan for how you will manage your stress. Stress can result from the very things that make college so wonderful. College is a period of enormous growth because it introduces you to new people, challenges you in the classroom, and leaves you unsure of your place in society..

The typical college student sleeps far too little. For learning, sleep is essential. creativity, physical prowess, and mental wellness.

Ned Johnson, co-author, “The Self-Driven Child: The Science and Sense of Giving Your Kids More Control Over Their Lives” explains that “because sleep deprivation has the same corrosive effects on bodies and brains as stress does, ‘pay yourself first.’ Structure your time for sufficient (49-63 hours a week) and regular sleep and then ‘spend’ the rest of your time on all the things that matter to you inside and out of class.”

No matter how you choose to communicate, make sure it's with your parents in particular because they might want to know how you're doing and  make sure you are ok.

In a Forbes article, Pope explains that a frequent weekly or (insert appropriate interval here) check-in might make sense, especially at the beginning. "Both sides need to agree that daily communication is generally unneeded," he adds.

There you have it, five professional suggestions to make the transition from high school to college easier. Please feel free to learn more about our educational offerings.

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