• 2 years ago •
Admissions Advice

How do I know if I'm ready for college?

I'm worried I'm not going to be ready for college when the time comes. My school is really not the best. I live in a fairly poor area where there's not a lot of opportunity for people. My school isn't competitive at all and it's not rigorous either. Despite that, one of my best friends got all As last year and actually got accepted to some pretty great schools. They go to a UC school now but they're really struggling there which makes me even more nervous I'm not going to be ready. They went from basically all As at my high school and now they're struggling to get Cs at their college.

I'd love to attend a college that is rigorous, intellectual, and is somewhat competitive like my friend but how do I know if I'm ready? My grades are all solid, my SATs are OK and I do better on the ACT so I'll probably take that. I know when I go to college that most people there are going to be extremely bright students who have excelled at competitive high schools and am afraid that I will not be at the same level as they are.

Does anyone else have these fears when going to college? How do I know if I'm genuinely ready or not? If you're in college, did you feel the same way? Any advice on what I can do would be appreciated!


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3 answers

Accepted Answer
• 2 years ago

College can definitely be a massive change for a lot of people. It can take time to adjust to your new reality and develop the habits necessary to succeed. It sounds like your friend is generally a strong student, I don't think that has suddenly gone away for them. They're probably having a hard time adjusting and it's making keeping up with the work difficult.

If you are getting good grades now and are able to understand the work you'll be able to understand the material in college too. What will be difficult is managing your time effectively and prioritizing your class work correctly. If you're disorganized now, start getting into the habit of being organized. Start small and work your way up if you need to. But being organized will be a huge help for you. And I'm not just talking organized in the sense that you're neat and tidy. Time management too. Pay attention to how long it takes to do homework, how long it takes you to write essays, when you normally start working on things that are due days/weeks out.

Also, study habits are critical! If you're the type of student who doesn't really study much but still gets good grades, you need to change that. That was my brother and he had a ride awakening his freshman year. He tried doing what he did in high school and it didn't work at all. Once he realized he needed to be proactive and study more things got way better.

You probably are already ready for college and the nerves and anxiety from your friend doing poorly are clouding your judgement. If you just make sure you're prepared and understand you're going to need to dedicate more time to be organized and studying you'll be fine. Also, make sure you go to class! Your new found freedom might make skipping seem worth it but every class you skip is hundreds of dollars, if not more, you just threw away.

Good luck, you'll be fine!

• 2 years ago

I think a lot of people share the same kinds of fears about going from high school to college. It's a huge life transition, and honestly it would worry me a lot more if people weren't all that nervous about it. Lots of people struggle in their freshman year of college because it makes them develop skills they might not have had before, and that can be hard to do when you're very used to one way of doing things.

Basically, you're definitely not alone, and I think the hardest part is having to remake some of the habits you might be used to in high school—like continuing to develop good study habits, figuring out how to manage your time, those kinds of things. It's going to be hard at first, and it is for most people, but the most important thing is to stick with it and keep moving forward. Keep that in your mind—and if you struggle a bit, that's normal and fine—and you'll figure out your path.

• 2 years ago

I feel your pain! I think many of us have similar concerns and fears about this and it can sometimes be hard to measure college readiness. I have an older sibling who started college a few years ago and I will say that it can be a huge transition and can take you some time to adjust to this new reality. Its really important to take a step back and ask yourself if you're prepared to handle some though situations on your own, be responsible for your self-care and wellbeing, manage time and provide structure to your day to day schedule.

If you're attributing your readiness to your school's lack of academic rigor, I would suggest branching out and finding ways to gain knowledge outside of the classroom. There are tons of programs/courses online where you can sharpen your skills and help you feel more comfortable. Just remember that colleges are made up of students from all walks of life with diffrent levels of intellect, so don't let this scare you! Taking a gap year is also an option some of my friends have considered and you can use this time to do some experiential learning. Most schools will also defer your admissions for the following academic year so you don't have to go through the application process later on!

Some other things to remember is that College is not all bad- its a pretty unique experience where you can challenge yourself academically, develop professionally, make some awesome memories and discover yourself along the way. Above all, be sure that you are ready to take on the academic, financial and emotional commitment that comes with being a college student because its far more important to thrive in college than it is to get there. Best of luck!!


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