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Start forming good college habits now


Thursday, April 10, 2014

You may think that once you've made your college decision  and sent in your tuition deposit that the only thing you have to worry about is the color scheme for your dorm room. While the college search may be over, college preparation is ongoing, especially the acquisition of skill and habits to help you succeed in higher education. Now it's time to round out your expertise so you can succeed at the next level.

Here are three tips you'll want to consider as you get ready for college life: 

Improve sleeping habits
College gives you the opportunity to create new daily schedules, participate in a wide range of extracurricular activities and cultivate your own social calendar. With so much freedom and responsibility, getting a full night's sleep may fall by the wayside. It is important to solidify your sleeping habits before you start college. Instead of letting the summer days go by as you sleep in, make an effort to get up relatively early and at the same time each day, possibly even the time you will have to wake up for school. Listen to your body to determine how much sleep you need to thrive, not just survive.

Find an active outlet
Your time in college will likely bring a workload and a level of academic stress that you are unaccustomed to. Organizational skills and good study habits will go a long way toward preparing you for the rigors of this amount of work. However, you will need an outlet that expends energy and reduces stress while allowing you to have some fun in the process. For example, if you love physical activity but are worried about not having organized sports to enjoy, come up with your own fitness routine. Incorporating this exercise regimen into your summer will allow you to form positive habits that you can then stick to on campus.

Practice conversational skills
Part of the value of a college education comes from the relationships formed with professors, alumni and peers. However, you won't be able to take advantage of these connections if you only sit quietly off to the side. You must be able to engage people and carry on an adult conversation. Practice these skills before you head to college. Start by talking about current events or academic topics with parents, family and friends. Eventually you may feel more comfortable jumping into a conversation with other adults and confidently expressing your ideas or point of view. College is full of opportunities – academic, social, and professional – and with strong communication skills you stand a better chance of benefiting from them.

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