At the beginning of the academic year, Yale University surveyed the new Class of 2020. Questions ranged from demographics to relationship status. One of the most surprising results was that less than half of the students felt academically prepared for college.
College readiness preparations are vital.
While these results were from an Ivy League school, a national survey conducted by YouthTruth, a non-profit based in San Francisco, found that only 45% of high school seniors feel prepared for college. This means that, across the country, a significant portion of first-year students do not think they are ready for their first year.
But what is college readiness? How can you make sure you fall into the percentage of students who are prepared for college?
Readiness is dependent on some factors such as the difficulty of school, your intended major, and your high school. For example, if you hope to attend a top university to major in computer science, but your high school never offered computer science classes, you may have a difficult time adjusting.
This doesn’t necessarily mean that you aren’t prepared for college. College is a time to explore new fields and challenge yourself. You can apply skills learned in high school to your university experience.
There are a few skills to work on as you near the finish line of high school and prepare yourself for college. The application process is the first test of your ability to streamline these skills effectively. The more you can show an admissions officer that you’re ready for college, the higher your chances are for acceptance.
This is perhaps the most critical skill of all. Time management is vital for success in college. Your professors will be more hands-off than your high school teachers. Your parents can’t keep you in check, and so much of your time will be eaten up with everything college campuses have to offer outside of class. See these time management tips for students for hints on building good habits in high school.
Time management is particularly important as you fill out your college applications. Juggling school, sports practice, drama rehearsals, social activities, and time with your family while applying to college is a good peek into how busy you’ll be for the next four years.
The ability to promote yourself is also an important skill to cultivate throughout high school. Being able to formulate your own opinions and share them with others is central to many college classes. This is especially true in seminars or section settings.
Like time management, this skill is an essential piece of the college application process. The need to be convincing on your application can help you get into your top schools. You need to stand out as a unique individual who can bring a different perspective and voice to the table. Confidently showing an admissions officer why you are qualified and how you can contribute to the freshman class is excellent practice for your time in college.
College is the first time when you’ll have total independence. It’s crucial that you don’t get overwhelmed your first year by setting up proper habits throughout high school.
Developing responsibility is a great way to ensure that this doesn’t happen. Volunteering, coaching youth sports, babysitting, and having a job are all great ways to cultivate responsibility throughout high school. Once you make it to college, this will directly translate to the university experience.
Working toward these skills early on in high school will help you feel prepared for college. The application process is a great time to test your college readiness. Reflect on your past experiences, articulate them well on your application, and show how you can contribute to the incoming freshman class.
Hannah Smith is a graduate of Stanford University and an Admissions Expert at InGenius Prep.