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Helpful Tips for College

College is the first time many young adults have the opportunity to be more independent. Below are some tips on how to make that transition from high school to college a little easier.

Know Yourself. Understand what are your abilities and what are your limitations. Know the language and correct terms surrounding those so that you are better prepared when it's time for you to explain them to others. Practicing these types of conversations with your parents or school counselor can help you feel more confident when speaking to someone at your institution.

Be Your Advocate. Unlike high school, you will be responsible for requesting services and assistance from your institution. Don't be afraid to ask for what you need to help you be successful in your college experience. Let your disability coordinator know what has worked for you in the past and what has not been successful. If something is not working, go talk to your disability coordinator immediately so you can try something else that may meet your needs. 

Be Academically Prepared. Most institutions have a set of core courses that all of their students must take to graduate. Make sure the classes you are taking in high school will help prepare you to meet these requirements. If you are unsure, meet with your school counselor to see if you are on the right track.

Exercise Your Executive Skills. Managing your time, organization, computer skills, keeping up with due dates and other skills will all be very important along your college path. Start practicing now so you are already in the habit of completing tasks like setting a schedule, organizing your classwork, putting reminders on your calendar and other helpful executive skills.

Be More Resilient. Most first-year students find themselves making mistakes and learning along the way. Being able to bounce back from setbacks and continue to be persistent on this journey will help make reaching your goals a reality. Stay positive and engaged in your learning.

Student Enrichment Programs. Several institutions in NC offer programs that allow high school students to experience what it's like to be on a college campus. Some of these programs offer the opportunity to live in a dorm, eat in the dining hall, take classes in college classrooms and more. If you're looking to boost your academic preparation, some of these programs are subject-based in areas like math, computers, biology and more.

Research The Institutions. Use the College Search tool to find information on an institution like programs and majors offered, extracurricular activities, financial aid and much more. Schedule campus tours and be sure to include the disability services office. Being on campus and seeing what services are offered is one of the best ways to see if a particular institution is a good fit for you.

Build A Support Network. The first year away from home can be tough for all students. That's why it's important to be persistent in building your support group. Start by getting involved in campus life so that you can get to know other students. Attend freshman orientation. Try living on campus. Get involved in extracurricular activities. Of course, you can still call your parents, your high school friends or any other supportive people in your life. Having an on-site support network makes getting that help you need more accessible.

Attending college allows students to make their own decisions and set their own routines. The level of structure and accountability like you had in high school will likely not be found here. By incorporating some of these helpful tips, you can increase your chances for a successful college experience.