One of the biggest issues high school students are worried about when it comes to entering college is whether they will be able to handle the workload. College is drastically different than high school in that classes can be bigger, with faster curricula, and professors that encourage students to work more independently.
Don’t panic! In order to assuage HS students’ feelings of anxiousness, we’re offering some ways to combat college course anxiety.
1. Ask your college friends what the workload is like at their school/what a typical day/week looks like? Your buddy who graduated from high school last spring will have a good idea of what it’s like. Send them a Facebook message or text message to catch up and find out how school’s going for them. Not only is this a good opportunity to stay in touch, but it’s also a way to find out more about what to expect when it comes to college life and academics.
2. Take AP courses. AP courses are designed to give high school students a taste for collegiate academics, and if you take AP courses, they will help in the application process when schools decide to admit you or not (AP looks good to Admissions!). AP courses include the kind of skills college students use in their classes, so even if you discover you’re not quite ready for the college workload, you can identify areas where you need to get better.
3. Talk to a college admissions counselor. If you’re looking at one particular college or even a few, ask the admissions counselors about the workload. It’s their job to respond and help you figure out what the school is like. You’ll want to know how many courses a typical college student takes, how many credits each course is, and how many times a week a class meets.
4. Get involved in a Discussion with College Prowler. If you’ve got questions, our users often have answers! Post a question on one of our school pages about workload and academics, and see what responses you get.
5. Try to get a sample syllabus on a campus tour. Get it straight from the horse’s mouth. You may not understand everything on the syllabus, but by looking at it, you’ll get a sense of what to expect and how to develop time-management skills.
Of course, the only way to truly know what kind of workload you can handle is by being a college student yourself; you’ll never actually know what it’s like until you’re in the situation. When you start your first semester, don’t throw yourself into a lot of clubs or organizations just yet. Set aside time for your studies and gradually figure out what you can juggle schedule-wise.
Chances are, if you’re already thinking about the college workload as a high school student, you’re showing considerate concern for your studies, which, when it comes to college life, is half the battle. Don’t lose that sense of commitment, and you’ll be well on your way to tackling college academics.