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3 Key Elements of A Successful Transition from Homeschool to College

I have been asked, what is one piece of advice I would give to homeschoolers who are headed to college, and this is honestly a terribly difficult question.  But after wracking my mind for a time, I have three key elements for a successful transition from homeschool to college.

1) Stop Procrastinating

2) Know How To Manage Time

3) Get A Quiet Study Environment

Easing the Transition from Homeschool to College

Procrastination Will Kill You

Procrastinating is the worst thing you can do in college…but I have good news…you can practice avoiding this while still in high school.

All throughout high school, I procrastinated…with everything.  If I had an exam to take, I would wait to study until 2 hours prior to the test.  If I had an essay due, I wouldn’t think about it until the day before I had to hand it in to my mom (or I’d try to convince her to extend the deadline a few more days.)

Procrastination and waiting until the last minute to get anything done was my biggest issue.  I recall always being frustrated because I would have this nagging voice in the back of my mind, often it assumed my mother’s voice; but even so, it constantly reminded me of an essay I had yet to start.

Eventually though, I became immune to said whispering voices and could ignore them instantly. It got to the point where I would simply forget a project was due until Mom would show me the schedule and practically yell, “This is due tomorrow! Have you even looked at the instructions in your textbook?”  To which I would not-so-innocently shake my head. (And she continued to homeschool me the entire way through…can you imagine? Sheesh; in retrospect, I must have been quite a provoking pupil.)

If you’re a procrastinator, you need to begin embracing a “No better time than the present” attitude.  Your transition from homeschool to college will be easier if you do. Work on assignments, start your research and stop putting off what you can get done now. Eventually it will catch up to you and you’ll run out of tomorrows.

Time Management Will Save You

Everyone with a full schedule whether work, home or school needs to mange time wisely. And if your a procrastinator you definitely need to mange your time. Your time-management system can be your guide.

In high school, I was not very proficient in this either; I would hang out on Facebook and chat with friends or my now fiancee for hours, and would neglect my schoolwork—if you want to irk your mom, let her catch you on social media while your textbook lies open on the table next to your laptop—look out!  I would take forever to get homework done because of this; I got good grades, but it took me several more hours each day.

When I began my first semester at our local community college I suddenly decided to take college seriously.  I mean, high school all seemed like fun and games, but college is the real deal; I was paying for my education this time around.  I had to learn self-control – and quickly.

By sheer grit and determination I went from a girl who waited until the last minute to study history because she was “stalking” friends on Facebook, to the college girl who declined going to see movies with friends because she had to study Biology.  I put all my effort into my classes, and worked non-stop on homework.  In fact, I ended my term with the highest grade in my toughest class that semester and got a surprise letter in the mail sometime later, informing me that I had made the Dean’s List.  Who knew?

The moral of this story is:  always finish your homework before checking Facebook, playing video games, or anything of the like…unless you can do it without getting caught!  (C’mon, I’m just joking.  Please study responsibly.)

There are several ways to mange your time and set a schedule that works for you. A college planner is a viable option for managing life. Electronically speaking, there are great planners available from List Planit  and apps like Evernote and OneNote are great for creating a customized system if you have the time.

Quiet Will Calm You

Another thing I have discovered, entirely by trial and error..…is that you should do homework in a quiet, secluded location.  For me, this is my bedroom.  Because I am such a social person, I wanted to be near my family, so during my first year of college, I studied at the dining room table with my younger brothers, amid all the activity.  The noise was constant, the commotion was endless, and the distractions were nonstop.  One evening, I took my laptop to my room—blessed silence and peace of mind!

I was astounded to realize that I got three times as much accomplished in the same amount of time.  No one was pestering me, no questions or favors were being asked of me, and I did not struggle constantly to stay focused on my subject at hand. (Also, from my room, I cannot see the goats escaping, so if the herd gets loose, it is then my bothers’ responsibility.  That may not have been entirely planned….)

You might prefer soft music but studies suggest that background noise is a stressor for most of us.

3 things to help you ease into college from homeschool

Final Thoughts

My final words of wisdom to you young, high school students, is:  do not wait until you get to college to avoid procrastination and get serious about your studies.  Do not be flippant with scheduling your time in high school, because the habits you have in high school will very likely follow you into college and then, to your future job.

Learn how to focus and avoid distractions now, while you’re at home; it will not get any easier once you’re surrounded by other students, day in and day out.

And by the way, respect and honor your mom (or whomever teaches you…) as your teacher. Your mom is not homeschooling you merely for her health, but instead, because she cares deeply about you and wants the best for you. Enjoy this time that you have together while you still have it and appreciate their sacrifices. 

I am well aware that schoolwork is not always enjoyable, but take advantage of this time you have left at home with your family and make memories that will last both your lifetimes!

As you transition from homeschool to college you’ll find many things that are new and different. Having a solid plan to mange your time, studies and homework will ease your new beginning.

What’s your biggest challenge, procrastination, time management
or finding quiet time?

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