The high school year is not quite done, and no doubt soon-to-be graduates are thinking more about their prom and graduation parties than they are their pending arrival in the post-secondary world.
But school choices are now in, and once summer vacation hits it will be time to start thinking about and preparing for their first year after high school.
“Post-secondary school is not like high school, and the workload, expectations and independence can catch some students off guard,” says Heather Cummings, Executive Director, Student Success, Fanshawe College. “Dedicating a little bit of time over the summer to get ready and familiarize yourself with your new school can make a huge difference once classes start after Labour Day.”
Fanshawe offers the following five tips to help recent graduates get ready for their first year:
- Be social.Today’s youth are already active on social media. It is their top source of information. Seek out where your school is on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and perhaps even Snapchat, and follow them. They will be providing key information about upcoming events and resources available for incoming students. If you come across any online groups, join in the conversation. You may make some new friends before the school year even begins.
- Get to know the school and surrounding neighbourhood.Many schools offer times in the summer when you can visit and tour the campus, check out the facilities and amenities, check out the area around the campus, pick up your student card, engage with various student organizations and clubs, complete any post-admission requirements and meet other students who will be starting with you — and facing many of the same apprehensions and challenges.
- Find a place to live.Maybe you have applied for residence and hope to live on campus. But space is limited and these spots are often not guaranteed. It won’t hurt to browse some of the off-campus housing available. It is also wise to review your rights and responsibilities as a tenant, especially if this will be your first time living away from your parents’ home.
- Start a list.There are a lot of items you’ll want to have at school with you — from academic requirements to personal items. Start a list of those things you want to take, and post it on your bulletin board or the refrigerator so that you can easily update it if something new comes to mind. Build this list throughout the summer so that when it’s time to pack you will already know everything you are going to need.
- Save.There are costs associated with post-secondary school that you didn’t have to worry about in high school. Besides tuition, you will have to buy your books and any supplies specific to your program. There is rent to pay and food to buy. And that says nothing for the incidentals — after all, you will also want to maintain some sort of social life to balance with your studies. Make a budget and start saving. You can also seek out some financial help. Many students don’t realize how many bursaries, grants and scholarships are there, waiting to be tapped. A quick Google search will uncover several opportunities for financial help. It is never too late to apply. There are also many financial management seminars available at colleges and universities over the summer that offer the support of campus experts.
“Starting post-secondary school is a big transition,” says Cummings. “But it will always be a benefit to be prepared.”
About Fanshawe College:
Fanshawe is one of Ontario’s largest colleges, with campuses in London, Simcoe, St. Thomas and Woodstock serving close to half a million people with a promise to educate, engage, empower and excite. For 50 years, Fanshawe has been helping people to unlock their potential and achieve success. The College attracts students from 70 countries every year and opens up a world of possibilities through more than 200 degree, diploma and certificate programs, along with apprenticeship training. Fanshawe celebrates its 50thanniversary in 2017, an exciting opportunity to reflect on how much the College has grown since 1967 and how it will continue to have a meaningful impact on future students.