5 Ways Teenagers Should Prepare for University
As a high school graduate, you probably think you've got this entire school thing down pat. And in many ways, you do - you got your homework done, studied for finals and passed all of your classes.
But as you prepare to head off for college, there are additional skills that you will need to make it through the next four years of education. In order to arrive at your university well-prepared and ready to go, consider spending part of the summer doing the following things:
Read, Read & Read Some More
College classes usually involve a lot more reading than you did in high school. To get your eyes and brain used to the increased amount of book time, spend as much time as you can reading. What you read doesn't matter as much as how much time you spend with books, head to the library and check out titles that interest you. Load up your iPad or Kindle too. If you have an idea of what you want to major in, you can certainly add some related academic choices to your reading list, but the main goal is to get used to reading more often. Instead of reading a chapter or two and then taking a break, work up to reading for at least an hour at a time. Getting through the increased level of studying and homework that is inherent to college life requires a good deal of sustained concentration, and reading for extended periods can train your brain to stay focused.
Get Your Driver's License
If your high school classes and extracurricular activities kept you so busy you never found the time to get your driver's license, consider getting it before you leave home. Even if you are going to a school with great public transportation and your dorm is within walking distance of your classes, driving is a really handy skill to have even if you don't use it right away. What if you end up moving to an apartment that's miles from campus or you get an internship at a great company that's not on the bus line? To help practice your driving theory tests, check out the TopTests website. It offers free online tests that you can take over and over from the comfort of home. You will never regret getting your driver's license before you leave home, and it will open up more opportunities than you may realize.
Learn to Budget Your Time
To make it through college, you have to take your time management skills and bring them to the next level. While your folks may have helped you stay on task and balance your academics, social life and work, in college you'll be mostly on your own. Over the summer, track how you are using your time; you can either jot your activities down on paper or use an app to keep tabs on what you are doing. Lifehack features a list of the top 15 time management apps and tools that will let you see just where your time goes. If you arrive at college with an understanding of how to use your time wisely, you'll be head and shoulders above many of your classmates who spend hours on Instagram but then wonder why they always turn in their homework late.
Sort Out Your Student Bank Account
Once you get to university, you'll realize how expensive it is to live away from mom and dad. However, by being on top of your finances before you go, you can rest a little easier. It's a good idea to set up a student bank account before you leave for uni. Whilst each bank differs, you can expect to get a free overdraft facility of up to $5,000, a debit card, an optional credit card, and usually some other incentive for joining - sometimes it will be vouchers, others electronics, and sometimes you'll get discounts on travel. Having your bank account in place before you leave will also give you somewhere to direct your student loan if you have one.
Buy Your Student Gadgets
Research conducted by Endsleigh Insurance found that 94% of students take a laptop to university with them. Whilst your university will have campus computers that you can use, it's always a good idea to take your own so that you can work on it during whichever hours you prefer. Other gadgets that you may want to consider taking include a tablet, a cell phone, and a printer - you can pick all of these up for budget prices, especially if you're not interested in the latest models and/or don't mind buying second hand. Consider taking out some Cloud storage too so that you can access your work from multiple devices with ease.
Going off to university is a very exciting time, but it's likely to be quite scary too. Keep these tips in mind, and you'll find that you're as prepared as you can possibly be. Most importantly: have fun! Your student years are often said to be the best years of your life, so make the most of them.