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What to Expect When You Start College


Congratulations! You're almost finished with high school and it's time to move on to college life. You've probably already realized that a lot about your life will change as you make this transition. Making sure you know what to expect is a great way to prepare for this step.

  • More freedom in your schedule. You'll be able to register for your own classes and select the times you want to take them. Be smart about this. If you're not a morning person, schedule your classes later in the day. If you need structure, create a schedule that keeps you going to class at the same time each day.
  • Bigger classes. Most of the time, your classes in college will be larger than your classes in high school. There may be classes with 40 students or with 300 students. This means that you have to seek out your professors to get to know them and to ask them questions when you need help.
  • More responsibility. You will have to manage your own time in college. No one will tell you to wake up and go to class, study, or begin that ten-page paper. You have to take responsibility for yourself and make sure you get things done.
  • More of a life outside of school. At college, you'll have access to many more clubs, activities, and events on campus. Take advantage of as many experiences as possible, but always remember that your job is to go to class and get an education first.
  • Different classroom systems. Unlike in high school, professors will often lecture for entire class periods, which means you have to find time outside of class to study and complete your reading. You will probably also have far fewer assignments and tests, but the ones you do have will count more toward your final grade.

Be sure to attend college orientation and ask questions. Most colleges have a mandatory orientation, but asking the right questions and being involved while you're there is the best way to make sure you get all the information you need about what to bring, what to expect, how to register, etc.

For more information and resources to help military youth and teens navigate everything from the unique challenges of a mobile military lifestyle to managing their social lives, saving money, and going green, visit Military Youth on the Move!


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