October 7, 2021

The New Student's Guide to Planning for the First Year of College


A Cardinal Custom College plan is one of the resources students might use when planning for college. After all, the whole point of planning for college is making sure you cover all the aspects of being successful. From managing your time well to identifying your interests, new students in their first year of college will face challenges like other students.

Why do new students face challenges in their first year of a college education?
The classes are complex and the reading material is challenging to digest. The instructors are strict on grades and the student workload increases by the day. A study of over 200 students and instructors found that cognitive challenges, time management, the burden of assignments, and learning to be an active learner were some of the most significant challenges students face. Those reasons emphasize the importance of effective college planning.

How new students should conduct college planning
The more you can concentrate, the greater your chances of success. New students like yourself require organizational skills and the ability to set goals that they can work toward. Consider taking these five steps to succeed in your first year of college.

Determine the costs of college to better manage your money
Figure out when you can apply for grants and scholarships. You’ll have deadlines you need to meet to obtain financial aid. New students may also have several expenses to consider:
  • Housing and living costs
  • Textbooks and course materials
  • Tuition and course fees
  • Transportation to and from campus
  • Personal expenses like food and personal hygiene items
Identify your interests and pursue them right away
According to College Values Online, the top 3 college degrees in 2021 involve Big Data, Bioengineering, and Artificial Intelligence. Interested in telling stories? Journalism and English might be your best bet. Interested in climate change? You might find a place in a classroom for Environmental Sciences. Consider your passions and interests. Then, apply them by asking questions in class, inserting your opinion, and demonstrating critical thought.

Overcome poor study habits early
If you’re procrastinating, now you should stop. Skipping classes shouldn’t be an option. Dishonest academic practices are also examples of situations students want to avoid. If you’ve been down that road, consider reflecting on your prior academic experiences in a journal. That way, you’ll find ways to improve your study habits.

Get involved and active as soon as possible
Find clubs, internship opportunities, and volunteer opportunities to explore. New students have to worry about standing out from seniors, and some of them have found professional opportunities. Still, you can write for the newspaper or find a club you never thought you’d find interesting. If you can stretch your imagination, you’re more likely to succeed academically.

Turn in your best work
Get in the habit of turning in assignments on time. New students may think it’s okay to be late, but the penalty could be costly later. Also, t’s worth considering the effect that late work has on your classroom experience. Not only will you be lagging, but you’ll also be struggling to turn in your best work every time.

A Cardinal Custom College plan can help you plan for college. You may feel like you’re ready, but you need a plan. You’ll have to do much more than turn in your best work. But approaching your education with an open mind and a sense of dedication will ensure your success in the long run.

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