Graduation is an exciting time for all high school students. For homeschooled students, this exciting time can also be overshadowed by the feeling of intimidation. Since homeschool students are used to a more one-on-one setting, it can be hard to transition to larger class sizes at college, which in some cases can be hundreds of students in one big lecture hall. Power Homeschool has some advice for homeschoolers looking to make the transition to college.
1. Get Involved
The transition from homeschool to college can feel like a lonely one. Many homeschoolers are used to close familial bonds, and being away from family can be one of the biggest challenges some students face. To help ease the loneliness, it is a good idea to find ways to meet new people.
For some freshmen, building relationships with those in their dorms is the best way to connect with new people at college. Other students might want to join an athletic team or student organization. With all of the options on college campuses, there is something for every student to meet like-minded individuals.
No matter how you choose to get involved, you should do your best to establish relationships with others that are involved in the same activities.
2. Get to Know Your Teachers
Making the transition to larger class sizes can be complicated for homeschool students. Gone are the days of one-on-one instruction. This can make students feel like just another face in the crowd of students. To develop a personal relationship with your professors, students can visit them during office hours or stay behind after a class on occasion.
Building a personal relationship with professors has a number of benefits. Remember, professors want their students to succeed. By establishing a personal connection, you can not only feel more comfortable asking for help when you are struggling, but you can also find a professor that would make a good reference when it comes time to look for a job after graduation.
3. Find Other Homeschoolers
Homeschoolers often have a network of other homeschooled students. However, these students might not be at the same college or university as you. Even though just a small percentage of students are homeschooled, creating an online forum or asking around about other homeschooled students could be a great way to meet others who understand the difficulties of this type of transition.
Reaching out to old friends can also be helpful. Become pen pals with homeschool buddies from back home. This nurtures previously established relationships and can help with writing skills.
4. Learn How to Manage Time
For some homeschooled students, there isn’t a set schedule. For these students, it can be challenging to manage such a structured schedule. Additionally, these schedules change halfway through the school year, which can cause issues for those who rely heavily on scheduling. Learning time management skills can take a little time, and planning ahead might be the best way to manage your time as you get started.
It can be hard to give yourself enough time to get from class to class, meetings, a job, and to complete homework assignments. There are a lot of moving parts to the college experience. It might be a good idea to get a planner or set phone reminders to ensure that you are getting to the right classes at the right times and completing assignments prior to their due dates.
Many college students deal with time management problems. Working with a counselor or mentor can help you develop this skill should you need a little extra help.
5. Overcome Misconceptions About Homeschooling
There are so many different stereotypes about homeschoolers; when people at your college learn that you were homeschooled, you will likely get a lot of mixed reactions. Many of these reactions will be based on the stereotypes that people have learned about homeschooled students.
While there might be some truth to these stereotypes, you can prove them wrong. You can also reeducate others about homeschooling and what it is really like. Getting defensive about these stereotypes might be your gut reaction, but if you can calmly explain what homeschooling is really like, you might actually change some minds.
6. Embrace the Changes
College life is going to much different than homeschool life. The best thing you can do for yourself is to embrace this new experience and all of the changes in your life that come with the transition. Trust that you can handle everything new that college throws your way and accept that this will be a learning experience.
Power Homeschool knows that the move from homeschool to college can cause feelings of anxiousness, but the changes that students experience at this time can be transformative on many levels. New-found independence can lead to a great deal of personal growth, which is a major part of the college experience.
Homeschoolers are well-equipped to transition to college life. Many homeschoolers find that they are actually ahead of the other freshmen entering college. They often credit this to the one-on-one nature of their education.