Highschool graduates tossing their caps in the air

8 Things Every High School Student Should Know Before Going off to College

Today’s guest post was written by Bethany Davis, a college senior and campus leader from South Carolina.

As a senior in college, I am a few years removed from high school and somewhat entrenched in college life. I’m currently finishing out this semester, which means I will only have one semester left in my college career…crazy.

I’ve been thinking though: what should high schoolers know? What are some things I would’ve wanted to know as an incoming freshman? So here is my list of 8 things every high schooler should know before going off to college:

1. Get used to using a computer.

Actually, just get used to using technology in general really. My sister Abby gave me this tip. She’s only a sophomore, so she had some insight that I may have forgotten. It is true though. I guess part of this will depend on where you go to school, but my school does a lot online. I’ve checked grades, read class announcements, taken quizzes, and done homework online.

2. Email! Turns out its not outdated, kids.

This tip kind of goes along with number 1, but I’ve never used my email as much as I have since I started college. During school, I check my email about as much as Facebook or Instagram. Staying on top of email is important.

3. Figure out this syllabus thing.

Early on, I had my homework transferred from my syllabi into the calendar on my phone. I could check it every day and see what was due. As I got older, I simply took pictures of my syllabi on my phone. I had what I needed right there in my photos and could see what was coming up. I realize some people might absolutely hate that system… buying a planner and putting assignments in by hand is a very valid option too. Just make sure you don’t neglect your syllabi. They are important pieces of paper.

4. Make connections with teachers early.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your teachers. If you’re struggling in a class, go to your teacher. If you need help on a paper, go to your teacher. Just being friendly with people usually makes a difference. Teachers are no exception. If you want to succeed, and they want you to succeed, it will only benefit you to show them you’re trying.

5. Don’t buy all your books new.

Rent. Buy from friends. Find upperclassmen in your major. Just don’t pay full price for all your books unless it’s absolutely necessary.

6. Speaking of your major, don’t stress about it!

I changed my major, and it wasn’t the end of the world. In fact, it was one of the best decisions I made in college. I didn’t change till about the middle of my sophomore year. Now I’m a Journalism & Mass Communication major, and I love the opportunities I’ve gotten as a result of my major change. It worked out for me to still graduate on time. Obviously, that’s ideal. That being said, you don’t have to switch. If you’ve found something that mixes what you’re interested in with what you’re good at, you may have found your career. The good thing is, God is in control. Don’t stress, friends!

7. Freshman 15 is a thing.

In fact, for me I think it was freshman 20, but who’s counting? Not having mom to check up on you can really make a difference, so be conscientious of what you’re eating. This is a great time to grow in a discipline in general, specifically in your eating habits.

8. People are more important.

Schoolwork is definitely important. It’s why you’re at college in the first place. But school will most likely be overwhelming at times. Don’t use that as an excuse to neglect those around you, those with whom you can have amazing ministry. That being said, your schoolwork is probably more important than socializing all evening Monday through Friday. 😉


I hope these 8 tips were insightful. There are so many other tips out there. At Teach Them Diligently, we actually have someone who wants to help you with your questions as you navigate through this high school-to-college transition. Our Homeschool Guidance Counselor is available right now to help you find your way to the next step in your quest to find God’s perfect will for your life. Also check out these other fun and helpful articles and resources from Teach Them Diligently and friends.

A thank you note to mom from a grateful homeschool graduate   Mom and dad, if you’re discouraged and wondering if you are making the right decision by homeschooling high school, this is the post for you! 🙂

Homeschool Highschool Pinterest Board

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