Transition from High School to College – The Problems Students Face

Transition from High School To College | Leaders of Evolution

My first semester of freshman year in college was, without a doubt, one of the scariest, most exciting, anxiety-driven, and overwhelming times of my life. Having attended the same school as my mom, uncle, and older brother, it’s safe to say that my time at Syracuse was highly anticipated. For as long as I can remember, I’ve counted down the days until I could officially call myself a Syracuse student and experience all the fun things that my family had told me about.  

Even though my mom did all that she could to prepare for the transition from high school to college, it was still such an unfamiliar lifestyle that I would have to work hard to adjust to. My family and friends are everything to me, and I was not ready to be a five-hour drive away from the people I love the most. At home, I was surrounded by my friends that I had gone to school with since I was five years old. At home, I never had to worry about what I would do if I felt sick and needed nothing more than my mom’s hugs and dad’s chicken soup. At home, I had the comfort of familiarity.  

What Kind of Problems Do Students Encounter During the Transition from High School to College? 

I know that everyone is different and some of the problems we face during this time of our life will vary. But in order to make your transition from high school to college as stress-free as possible, I wanted to provide some things to expect and what to do about them.  

1. Home Sickness 

Like I mentioned before, my friends and family mean more to me than anything in the world. This was the problem I was most nervous about as I had never spent much time away from home before. Even as a junior in college, there are times where I get homesick and have to overcome this struggle. This is totally normal and not something to feel embarrassed about.  

What I found to be extremely helpful was making a weekly plan to call my family members as it was something I could look forward to after a stressful day. I set a timer for 6 PM every Thursday to call both of my grandparents and typically talk to my parents once or twice a week. My mom usually calls me every day, so it’s not hard to remember.  

Friends are definitely easier to communicate with as they are definitely more tech-savvy than my older family members. We have about a million group chats, over text, Snapchat, Instagram, Twitter, you name it. There’s never a time in the day where my phone is not blowing up with notifications from them. So much so that when we finally reunite, it’s like no time has gone by. 

2. Time Management 

If you’re anything like me, waiting until the last minute to complete an assignment was your thing in high school. It was a lot easier for me to get by with this pattern because I could always count on my teachers to remind me what was due at the end of every class period. Let’s just say, it’s not that simple in college. With blocked schedules and 100+ person classes, it’s entirely on you to hold yourself accountable for the work that needs to be done. In my first semester of school, I would miss assignments left and right because I just didn’t realize I had any. 

I quickly learned that I needed to better organize my work and plan my time accordingly. I highly suggest checking your schoolwork/grading website, mine is called Blackboard, at the very beginning of every week and making a list of all the things that you have due. I like keeping my list on a virtual sticky note on my laptop because I see it every time I use my laptop (which is a lot when you’re a college student, believe me.)  

3. Mental Health Struggles 

Mental health is something that I’ve struggled with all my life, so I knew that the transition from high school to college would bring forth new problems in this department. Being in a brand new setting away from your loved ones with more homework than ever before sounded like a recipe for disaster. I won’t lie and pretend like I haven’t had my struggles here and there, but I can confidently say that there has no been way more good than bad at college.  

You’re going to find people that you feel comfortable with and who bring out the best in you, even if that’s not in the first week of school. Three years into school and I’m still making new and close friends. I’ve found lots of things at Syracuse that has helped me destress. When I’m having a bad day, I find it helpful to turn off my computer, take a break from my work, and enter a new setting, whether it be outside or at a friend’s. This allows me to turn off work mode and realize that college isn’t just about school. In high school, you get to go home at the end of the day and relax, so always remember that you can do the same in college even if it doesn’t feel that way at times.  

How Leaders of Evolution Can Make the Transition from High School to College Easier 

As an e-learning company specialising in building leadership skills and emotional intelligence, Leaders of Evolution will take away your students’ worries about the transition from high school to college. Our 4 C’s, specifically Connectedness, will help them when coping with homesickness. Each of our courses teaches students how to master their time management skills with goal setting and planning. With a strong emphasis on social-emotional learning, student mental health is always a priority for Leaders of Evolution.  

Partner with us to provide your students with a course that will help them navigate their first year of college. At Leaders of Evolution, we’re always thinking about the future, and you should too. Let’s help tackle the transition from high school to college together! 

Click here to learn more about how our courses can help your students during this vital stage of their lives.  

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Leaders of Evolution are passionate about education. We expertly design and deliver technology enhanced e-learning courses focused on leadership, social and emotional learning, career readiness and sports coaching for students, teachers, athletes, coaches and the wider community.

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Arielle Cohen

Has a passion for all things communications from creative writing to social activism. In her free time, she can be found arguing why New Jersey is the best state in America, why Syracuse University is the best school in the world, and how life under 5 ft isn’t as bad as it’s made out to be. When she’s not talking your ear off, she’s probably binge-watching Netflix with her friends. Arielle is so excited to work with Leaders of Evolution in inspiring a new generation of students & athletes!


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