As the fall semester begins to wrap up, many Union High School seniors (and senior parents) may worry about their success in college. Classes are different, professors are different, and the entire lifestyle is different. Many students may be able to succeed in high school classes without much studying as they only have to retain a few chapters of information. In college, this is different, and many students do not know how to navigate the differences, which causes parents to worry about this new phase even more.
As a college sophomore, I recently experienced the transition from high school to college. The first semester (and sometimes year) of a college career consists of adjusting to college life. College classes have many differences with high school classes—high school classes meet every day while college classes meet at a variety of times and exams in college cover anywhere from five to eight chapters of material (high school exams are anywhere from one to three). These two differences can cause college freshmen and their parents considerable stress because although students may be able to do well in high school classes without studying, this may not necessarily by the case in college. Therefore, learning correct study methods is essentially for college freshman, and learning these before entering college can make the transition easier for both parents and students.
One of the best ways to retain large amounts of information over the course of several weeks is a recall method in which students read their notes directly after the class and then again before class in the morning. Students must do this daily in order to be effective. This simple method has served me well throughout my college career. Many students also make flashcards to use a technique called direct active recall. This allows students to ask a direct question and recall the exact information. Different students may need different methods depending on his or her individual learning style.
Furthermore, students need to practice these techniques in class to test what works and what does not. The best way for students to do this is to take either an Advanced Placement or dual credit class while they are still in high school. These classes are more challenging for students but will force them to learn to study if they want to succeed. Union High School currently offers Advanced Placement world history and Advanced Placement biology as well as dual credit English composition, dual credit college algebra, dual credit college trigonometry, and dual credit American history. These classes not only allow students to earn college credit, but they also teach students vital studying methods.
Students and parents worry significantly about the transition from high school to college. Seniors are excited to move onto the next part of their lives while parents contain a nervous excitement. The best way to prepare for college classes is to learn studying methods while in high school, and Union High School offers the tools to give seniors and underclassmen these skills. Good study habits will not only result in good grades but will also result in lower stress levels and higher confidence in these classes. Seniors only have the spring semester left, and if they need to, I highly encourage them (and parents should as well) to take a class that would teach them good study habits. Union High School already does an extremely good job of preparing students for college. By learning good study habits early, Union students will better succeed in any institution of higher education.