Remember those comprehension questions on SAT tests that ask, “Rudder is to ship, as bridle is to _________ (correct answer: horse)? Well, a similar analogy can be applied to high school and college… High school is to college as gym class is to team sports. In gym class you get exercise, just as you do when you play sports. But playing on a team involves a deeper, more focused commitment.
Likewise, what you can expect from college is a different kind of experience than high school. It’s more intense, and – for many students — more rewarding because it relates directly to their future. One thing’s for sure, knowing what to expect can help you make a smoother transition between the two worlds.
A is for Academics – Original thoughts count more in college. While you’re still in high school, strengthen your study habits. If you’re having trouble in a subject, don’t delay in getting help. And when you get to college, attend classes regularly and visit your professors during office hours.
I is for Independence - In college, you will become more independent than you were in high school. This means you need to make wise choices about your personal safety, finances, and overall well-being. You need to know when and where to get help in case you get sick or have trouble with a class.
M is for Marketability – The only goal of most high school jobs is to earn a little extra cash. But in college, you’ll need to think more strategically about work. You’ll want to look for internships, work study programs, and summer jobs that relate to your field of interest. Talk to someone who works in that field, and/or set up an appointment with a guidance counselor at school. Find answers to questions such as: Which college majors are ideal for this career? What kinds of skills are needed? What are the personal traits of people who are successful in this job (enjoy details, like to work alone, able to lead, etc.)?
Now, armed with a clearer picture of what will be expected of you in college you’ll know how to take AIM.