By Sarah Wright
Turn a New Leaf
It's not uncommon for students to exit high school with more than a few bad habits. And while some things about college will be familiar, it's ultimately a different game entirely. Success in college requires some gear shifting, but we tend to think mostly about the ways our social and personal lives will change after high school. It's important to remember that your academic life will need some adapting as well. Here are some areas where you can make major changes to your academic habits in order to succeed in college.
Bullying Other Students
At many colleges, social hierarchy is a lot different than it was in high school. For starters, many college students simply don't care enough about school social politics to participate in anything close to the kind of structure that exists at most high schools. This includes bullying other students who might have been considered social outcasts before college. By the time you get to college, you should be mature enough to know that making fun of people for their differences is pretty lame.
Cutting Up in Class
Though it's not required that every college student take his or her work seriously, there is something particularly stupid about trying to be the class clown after high school. While you may have always had the funniest tricks up your sleeve as a 10th grader, studious college upperclassmen are not going to be amused when you disrupt class. Neither is your professor, who can simply kick you out of class (for good) if he or she finds your presence too distracting.
Not every college student is going to do 100% of his or her work 100% of the time. But you should take your work in college much more seriously than you did in high school, especially if you weren't too concerned about skipping assignments when you were younger. You're paying for your college education, and unless you're going to a remarkably academically lenient school, your instructors and professors aren't going to assign 'busy work.' Doing even the most seemingly trivial homework, and taking it seriously, will help you take your other work seriously as well.
Signing Up for the Easiest Classes
If you got into the habit of taking easier classes to secure better grades during high school, you should cut that out once you go to college. You're in college to learn, and challenging yourself is an important part of ensuring that your college education actually does something for you. And while it's a good idea to ensure that you graduate with a decent GPA, it's just not as important for college students to have a good cumulative grade at graduation as it is for high schoolers who are applying for college.
Some of the shortcomings you may feel upon entering college might not be your fault.