How to make the highschool to college transition as smooth as possible


Ceely Patramanis

Many Pleasant Valley students look forward to completing their next four years at the University of Iowa.

Ava Hahn, PV Only Editor

With the 2022 school year coming to a close, seniors have high anticipations regarding the next few years of their life. Whether they are going into college or straight to the workforce, a change in lifestyle is inevitable. The sense of independent living can be thrilling, but going in prepared can reduce the shock factor that this new lifestyle is sure to bring. 

Deciding that college is the right path can be a great start to furthering your education. Knowing the ins and outs of the campus can ease the transition into a new home for the next school year. Campus tours or visiting a friend that is enrolled in the school already can give incoming students a sense of what life is like in college. 

This year’s college freshmen are nearing the end of their first year, and having just experienced it, they have some of the best tips on how to make it through your first year with ease. PV alum and freshman at Black Hawk College Lexi Morel shared, “I’ve loved college so far but it has definitely been an adjustment from high school. If I could do anything differently, I would have looked more into my [general education courses] that would have pushed me towards my career path.” 

A huge difference between college and high school is the freedom that comes with choosing classes. There are core classes, known as general education courses, or gen eds, that must be completed at some point throughout one’s education, but when it comes to other classes college provides a freedom that high school could not offer. Taking courses that align with one’s desired future career in addition to gen eds that may help accelerate that can be a great way to start off one’s college career. 

Along with going to classes and expanding knowledge, it is important to have a social life. PV alum and freshman at Iowa Western Community College Kellen Hornbuckle said, “College is a time to branch out and meet new people to be active in the community. Go to the events they have for students and meet people there and do things you wouldn’t normally do.”

Although the main goal in college is to further educate oneself, maintaining a thriving social life can be a great way to keep college enjoyable. Keeping an open mind and attending the events that are set up to kickstart a social college life can dramatically improve the first year. 

Hornbuckle added, “Try not to hang out with the same people you hung out with in high school. Branch out and try to meet new people.” When it comes to going to a new school, especially a state school that is close to home, it is easy to stay within a small group of hometown high school friends. Meeting new people, even if that means sticking with a few old friends, can lead to lifelong friendships. 

The transition from high school to college can be intimidating, but being prepared can make the journey much easier. Creating a good balance between a social life and education can be a great start to the first year of college.