I was taught a lot of useful information in high school, but when it came time to apply all that information to college, I was way in over my head. Those twelve years didn’t prepare me enough for what was to come. Although my posts are typically catered to college students, this one is for the teachers. This isn’t to bash my high school or any high schools anywhere. The point of this article is to show that I didn’t feel prepared for it all, most students don’t. There are ways to fix that though. Although the teaching curriculum is different at every school, there are ways to fit some of these aspects in somehow. I want future generations of students to feel like they can conquer college no matter what it throws at them.
So, teachers, this is what I felt like I didn’t know enough about for college and some recommendations for some material you can include in your own classrooms.
Throughout high school, I was taught MLA format specifically. My teachers doubted that I would ever use any other format since MLA was one of the more widely used in my state. I get to college and 4/5 require APA format, something I was never taught or had barely seen any examples of. Thankfully I was provided with templates for the first few papers but eventually. I had to remember the layout on my own.
Tip For Teachers: I think it’s so important that high school teachers go over several possible writing formats and have students practice each form for a different paper.
Writing Cover Letters
Going off of writing formats, writing a cover letter is something super minuscule that I would never have to worry about except for on my résumé. For my speech and media classes, they wanted cover letters on each of my papers and projects, something that wasn’t completely foreign to me but still pretty abstract.
Tip For Teachers: Get your students familiar with the layout of cover letters. Perhaps have them draft their own résumé cover letter and keep it as a reference killing two birds with one stone.
Maybe I never took enough tests in high school that I needed to study for, but I was completely thrown off the deep end when I took my first test and got a 62%. That was a huge wakeup call for me to get myself together, but I didn’t know where to start. I knew people used flash cards to study but that didn’t exactly apply to all of my classes. That class taught me to learn through repetition, and eventually, the more you see the information, you’ll start to remember it faster.
Tip For Teachers: Perhaps having your students take tests in a variety of different formats could be beneficial, forcing them to study in different ways to learn the information. Perhaps even recommending some study techniques that have worked for students in the past could get them on board.
Want to read up on my study tips I recommend for college students? Read my post Study Methods To Ace Every Kind Of Test
For the most part, I was pretty prepared for the reading side of college since I was enrolled into so many English classes throughout high school and did a variety of readings. However, as my semesters progressed I’m starting to receive readings that are a lot more difficult to analyze and truly understand the works. I can read fast, but being able to take away that information and apply it is quite difficult.
Tips For Teachers: Showing students how to analyze while they read is a super helpful tactic I wish I knew earlier in college. By assigning short writing assignments on the topics between chapters or quizzing them about certain topics is a great way to make sure they understanding what they’re reading. If they aren’t doing as well, go back and see if you can go over those sections with them and help break down the chapter.
Different Styles Of Notes For Different Classes
I was taught multiple ways to take notes in college and some of those techniques did help, but they don’t work for all classes. Some of my classes don’t show powerpoint slides or give out handouts or study guides. I just have to hope what I’m writing down is the important stuff. How do you take notes in classes like that?
Tips For Teachers: Go over different styles of notes and how certain styles benefit certain subjects! Although I was taught the different styles, I never knew which form of note-taking was better for one subject or another.
Setting Personal Deadlines
There’s always the date the assignment is due, and there’s the date where you actually get the assignment done. Scheduling my time in college is something I’ve struggled with every semester because there never seems to be enough time to do anything!
Tips For Teachers: Those planners that are provided for every student? Teach them how to use them and the importance of personal deadlines. If the assignment is due on the 10th, try to have it done by the 8th in case you need to redo it or something happens where you can’t finish it by the 10th. Personal deadlines have saved my butt in college, but not every person knows how to set them. Teach them the importance of a planner!
The Importance of Dual Credit
Not every high school offers dual credit, but for those who do, pay attention! Some high schools offer college-level courses, and if you get a good enough grade or pass the test, you can receive college credit. Meaning, you don’t have to take those courses in college and you can save money! However, there is a difference in some of these courses. Any class that says “AP” be cautious of. Although you may receive an A in that class, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the college credit. You’ll have to pass an exam in order to receive that credit, and if you don’t score usually a 4 or a 5, you’re kind of screwed. I suggest taking the classes that are “College
Any class that says “AP” be cautious of. Although you may receive an A in that class, that doesn’t mean you’ll get the college credit. You’ll have to pass an exam in order to receive that credit, and if you don’t score usually a 4 or a 5, you’re kind of screwed. I suggest taking the classes that are “College Blank”. You’ll have to pay for these courses, but if you get a C or above, it counts as college credit!
Tips For Teachers: Educate your students on the difference between these classes and the other possible ways that students can receive duel credit. I took two classes in high school and I thankfully don’t have to take them now in college because they transferred over. You save a lot of money and time by doing this!
What do you wish your teachers taught you in high school to prepare you for college? Did you feel prepared for college? Leave a comment below!