5 Ways to Prepare Yourself for University
A grade 11 student shares her ideas on getting yourself ready for university.
High school can be a stressful time for many reasons. Getting everything done so you can graduate, researching career options, finding the right school — there's a lot to do. To ensure you're prepared to succeed in university or college, there's a few things you can do while you're still in high school.
Learn to manage your time
Post-secondary schools give a lot more work and require a lot more focus than high school. It's best to learn how to manage your time now instead of facing the consequences later. You can do that by making a schedule for yourself so you don't go off task. You can also schedule breaks and downtimes in the same way to avoid procrastination.
A good way to get some practice in before the fall is to work a summer job, or consider getting some experience by volunteering your time to a good cause.
Keep your options open
When applying to university you might want to think about studying different subjects. Unless you 100% know what you are going to do when you are older, there is no shame in still exploring your options even in university. According to Ohio State University, 50 to 75% of all undergraduate students change majors (pdf) at least one time before earning a degree.
When choosing the right program of study, take some time to think about your interests and goals — but don't stress, because there's always time to change course later.
Build your resumé
Employers and universities look for a good resumé so you should keep your resumé up to date, but include only relevant information, like your skills, work, and volunteer experience. This can give you a higher chance of getting a good job and getting into a good university.
University is a big jump from high school and you have to prepare hard for it. If you are planning to live on campus, the best thing to do is to plan out what you are going to need and then go shopping for it ahead of time. You might also need to open a bank account for yourself so you can start learning how to manage your own money and actually think about what you are spending your money on.
Budgeting will also help you plan for finding scholarships and researching student loans.
Start talking to people in the same field as you want to be in. This can help you learn more about what to expect in the real world and can even set you up for internships, co-op opportunities, and a full time job.
Don't stop there, though: get in touch with the schools that interest you, find current students to chat with, and get active on social media to meet people with similar interests.
By learning to manage your time, keeping your options open, building your resumé, getting organized, and networking, the big jump from high school to university won't be as big as it seems.
Good luck on your post-secondary journey!
Find the right school for you