Transition From High School to College

Many teenagers don’t like high school, but compared to college, it’s a piece of cake. In college, they have to have strong executive functions, solid academic skills, and regular ways to deal with stress. 

Parental help doesn’t go away. However, you shouldn’t be there to talk to a professor after they fail an exam, send them daily schedule reminders, or make sure they eat. 

College can be a terrifying transition. If a young person puts time and thought into planning before and during college, it could be one of the most rewarding and meaningful experiences of their life. 

There are things students can do today to prepare for future challenges. Follow these steps to help teenagers with learning and cognitive challenges in college preparation.

How Is College Different Than High School

From childhood to adulthood, high school provides an opportunity to experience what it is like to be an adult. On the other hand, college allows you to fully control your time, responsibilities, and who you want to become.

You’ll be OK if you stay focused on the task, i.e., achieving high marks, sticking to a strict schedule, and studying like no one’s watching. Balance is essential in college. Work hard and have some fun. If it sounds fantastic, that’s because it is. As you adjust to your new college lifestyle, you’ll notice a few parallels.

Class Timings

During high school, your teen spends 30 hours per week in class, moving from one class to the next. The academic year is 36 weeks, with a brief spring break and a long summer break.

Your kid will spend 12 to 16 hours each week in class, with breaks in between, in COLLEGE. Many classes are provided in the evening as well as during the day. 

The academic year is often divided into two 15-week semesters, plus an additional week following each for examinations. There will also be a winter vacation and a spring break, with the spring semester ending in May.

Style Of Teaching

Teachers offer content from textbooks in high school, frequently writing information on the chalkboard or whiteboard to be transcribed in your notes.

Professors in college also offer topics from textbooks and other academic sources. They may lecture continuously, have breakout activities, organize in-class homework, or discuss research on your learning topic. 

Teens will be expected to be current on all prescribed readings and to be able to describe them, so taking thorough notes is essential.


During high school, your teacher will tell you what you need to know from required readings, and teachers will remind you of assignments and due dates. They will go through your completed homework.

Professors want you to use the course syllabus overview in COLLEGE, which outlines exactly what is expected of you, when it is due, and how you will be graded. 

You are responsible for reading and comprehending the required material; lectures and assignments assume that you have previously done so. 

Professors may not always examine completed assignments, but they will expect you to complete the same activities on assessments.

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Tips on Helping Teens Transition 

Help Them Break Down Long-Term Assignments

Even those who breezed through high school agree that college is another ballgame. Attendance at lectures is rarely required, a few examinations or papers may decide a semester’s overall mark, and class sizes are substantially smaller. 

Most teenagers who struggle in their first few semesters do so because they come to college unprepared for these new dynamics. 

When your child receives a long-term task, show them how to split it down and establish deadlines for what has to be completed and by when. 

Most parents wait until their junior or senior year to begin touring colleges. However, if you have the resources, you should begin earlier so that they may benefit from a fast view of the future.

Encourage Them To Express Their Hopes And Anxieties

What are the most enthusiastic about? What are their feelings about going away from home? What are the most terrified of? Your teen must understand that they may express their thoughts and feelings to you without fear of being judged. 

Be a good listener and inquire before you provide advice. They may need time to comprehend everything. They are thinking about several things. Suggest that your child venture outside their comfort zone by sitting next to someone new in the cafeteria or joining a group. 

Please send them to campus ahead of time to get used to it and ask them how long it takes to go from their dorm to their courses.

Assist Your Teen In Developing Self-Acceptance

For teens, having a sense of identity and knowing who you are and what you are capable of is critical in any collegiate career. Self-determined people recognize and embrace their talents and flaws. 

As a result, they may set realistic objectives and work purposefully toward achieving them. How can parents assist? First, make sure you accept your teen’s peculiarities. 

The next step toward self-determination is focusing on your child’s talents and educating her on how to deal with problems. 

Look for chances for your child to reflect on his abilities and foster an environment where his gifts can develop. If your youngster believes he is “bad at everything,” utilize tools to help him recognize his skills.

Do Not Try To Control Them

This is especially challenging in today’s age of texting and social media. We can remain in touch with our college students all the time, but this is not what your child needs to start finding their way at school. 

Reach out now and again, but realize that your child will call you if they require anything. They require room to mature and sort things out for themselves. 

When you connect, inquire how things are doing by asking what they are studying in class and whether they have made any new friends.

Practice The Necessary Everyday Life Skills For College

This may be the most apparent and crucial piece of advice, but it is also the most frequently overlooked in the daily turmoil of senior year. 

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Your teen will have to do their laundry, manage their medications, wake up for classes, and eat nutritious meals regularly while living 


Teaching these abilities does not take long, but it needs advanced planning and frequent practice. Spend the summer before your teen’s final year teaching him how to do their laundry, get medicines, and take care of their belongings. 

Brainstorm possible techniques for him to utilize, and then collaborate to see which works best.

Teach Self-Sufficiency

Make and stick to a budget with your child. Your kid must understand the dangers of running out of money, and it’s safer if your child is still living at home while learning about overspending.

Learn more about teaching money management. Ascertain that your teen is capable of doing laundry and changing sheets. 

Teens preparing to live alone should be able to shop for groceries and make simple meals. These activities help children understand how long it takes to finish tasks. This aids in time management. Assist your teen in identifying their strengths. This will provide some direction in college. 

The more opportunities kids have to pursue their interests, the more conscious they will be of what they have to give.

Most Importantly: Create A Solid Transition Strategy

College is not for everyone. Some teenagers are better suited to taking a gap year or jumping right into a career. 

College is expensive, time-consuming, and demanding, so be sure you and your child agree that it is the right next step for him before he accepts a seat. If the answer is yes, congratulations! 

You now need a strategy. Hoping your child will get it together may, and often does, backfire, resulting in failed grades, lost money, and broken homes. 

Research the college’s support for your adolescent to ensure a smooth transition. That does not just refer to disability benefits that teenagers are unwilling to use.

Most schools provide resources such as writing centers and mental health services to all pupils. Make sure your kid is aware of these resources before she arrives on campus, and walk her through a few ways in which they could come in handy.

Next, make a reasonable first-semester plan. The first few months of college are a blur of social activities, new experiences, and shifting expectations. Can your child manage her workload while dealing with all of this? As much as possible, assist her in selecting a manageable course load that plays to her talents. 

Academic counselors may be a valuable resource for establishing a teen-friendly schedule that aligns with degree requirements, provided she is comfortable sharing her deviations.

Last but not least, devise a strategy for parental participation. What are your communication expectations? Will a weekly phone call be enough, or do you anticipate daily text messages? 

Respect your child’s desire for independence, and ensure he knows you’re always accessible if needed. Communication may sometimes be intermittent, and his preferences may change after a few weeks or months. 

What matters is that he understands that you are there for him, no matter how challenging or thrilling college might be.