Transitioning from high school to college

Early college preparation takes stress off of students final year in high school. Applying for college early, taking a difficult year of senior classes and job shadowing are all beneficial steps to take to transition from high school to college.

By Connor Devereux | Sports Editor

Scholarships are available. Students are starting to apply for universities. Some high school athletes are beginning to receive possible scholarship offers for college. For many seniors, these stressful situations are necessary in their quest to make it to college. Along with these hectic situations comes the daunting question that many seniors are unable to answer: Am I really prepared to be successful in college for the upcoming years? Sadly, for more than 50 percent of the student population, the answer is no.

According to “The SAT Report on College and Career Readiness,” only 43 percent of all college bound seniors are actually ready for the upcoming college year. When this study was revealed, the College Board President Gaston Caperton said, “This report should serve as a call to action to expand access to rigor for more students. Our nation’s future depends on the strength of our education system. When less than half of kids who want to go to college are prepared to do so, that system is failing. We must make education a national priority and deliver rigor to more students.”

The priority of getting a better education may be difficult to comprehend for many high school students, whose main goals may be to just get through the day and mow through their homework as quickly as possible, a skill they have perfected over the years. While this may get them through high school, the college scene will not necessarily allow this type of lifestyle. Students must develop a plan early that will help them get ready for college years before it arrives.

A very important step to success in college is to enroll oneself in difficult courses. These challenging classes will prepare students for the college load of work and give one the mental toughness to push through challenging topics. Taking classes offered by ones local college can help. Classes that are offered as dual enrollment courses at MHS include College Writing, Journalism, American Sign Language, Anatomy & Physiology, AP Psychology and others. According to researchers at the Oregon University System, students who have participated in dual enrollment courses received higher grades in their first year of college than students who had not.

Along with enrolling in difficult courses, it is a necessity for students to be on top of scholarships. Applying for scholarships early and often can help one not only receive money for college, but also improve your organization, writing, and critical thinking skills. These skills will help students in the years to come. Without these skills, college life will be harder to adapt to. If students start this process early and give themselves a fairly large amount of time to completely work, their busy lifestyles will not be affected as much by this process.

Another thing besides applying for scholarships early and taking challenging classes is to job shadow. This can be a good way for students to experience what type of careers they may enjoy and be suitable for. Searching for jobs on the Internet is one thing, but actually going out and job shadowing professionals can give one the inside scoop to a job. Job shadowing can be a great way to learn social skills. It is also considered volunteer work and can be useful on applications.

College planning can be a very nerve-racking situation but with careful planning early during the high school years, it can be easier. Seniors who are beginning to pull their hair out over the stress of college, you are not alone. Millions of students are feeling the same way. However, by getting a jump on things by taking a difficult senior year of classes, applying for scholarships early, and figuring out what type of jobs one likes by job shadowing can help them deal with the pressure of college and make the transition much smoother.