Know the 3 Rules for College

Are you getting ready to make the transition from high school to college? If so, you are not alone. Every year, high school grads choose to head straight for the next academic challenge: a four-year degree. What’s the best way to begin the journey? Fortunately, there are four very helpful guidelines that can make the move much smoother and less of a hassle.

First, it’s essential to understand that there are actually two parts to the whole degree challenge. One is surviving academically, and the other is about financing. It is important to recognize that budgeting can make your life better and this is a great time to start. Plus, far too many prospective students underestimate the amount of studying and homework they’ll be facing once classes begin. Other things to know before day one are related to how quickly you should select a major, why extracurricular activities are so important, and how to use summer breaks to your advantage. Here’s how to get off to a quick start after high school is behind you.

The First Hurdle is Financing

Many are often surprised to learn that there are two major pieces to the college puzzle: financing and studying. The good news is that you can fill out a quick online loan application to cover some or all of your school-related expenses. After dealing with the money situation, there’s the academic part of the challenge. Loans make good sense because they free students to focus on coursework. Trying to work a full-time or part-time job while in school can be a recipe for academic disaster. The far wiser approach is to borrow enough to cover tuition, books, fees, etc. Then, you’ll be ready to focus on achieving excellent grades.

Don’t Rush to Select a Major

No matter what college or university you attend, there will be plenty of time to declare a major. Don’t be discouraged if some of your fellow students know from day one what subject they wish to pursue. Nearly every institution lets attendees wait until their second or third year before declaring. However, it makes sense to explore a subject that is a good fit with your interests, academic abilities, and long-term career goals. A corollary to the rule is that you should expect to study more than in high school. Even if you attended an academically demanding prep school, be ready for more reading, studying, and a rigorous academic challenge.

Use Summers Wisely

Summertime might serve as a much-needed break from studies but be careful to use the time wisely. There are several excellent options, all of which can help with paying for school and preparing for landing that first post-college job. Consider interning with a company where you can acquire essential career skills. Most internships offer at least minimum-wage pay, so don’t feel as if you’re struggling for nothing. Additionally, you can ease the overall course load by taking one online course each summer. Most schools offer a range of choices for those who want to pursue this path. Another way to spend the summer months is to work a full-time job near home. It’s a smart way to gain solid work experience while socking away some needed cash.

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