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Transitioning from high school to college is tough. You may not even be old enough to vote, but you’re asked to make a decision that will affect the rest of your life. You ask yourself, should I go to college? Am I ready to take that small step into a school that is a giant leap for my future? Am I ready to accept the responsibilities of making choices, of devoting a couple years to building the foundation for the rest of my life?
And today, there are more college choices than ever. It used to be that if you went to college, you’d move into a dorm room on a campus and study required courses that could give you a theoretical foundation for numerous career paths. Now there are career colleges where, if you have an idea of what you want to do, you can get started on career-focused education right away. Luckily, the connected world gives you access to tools that help you make these important decisions. Online assessments help you figure out what career is right for you, and message boards and social networks let you chat with current students about their collegiate experiences.
That brings up another important decision. Do you want to study online? Recent studies show one in four college students choose to take online courses in conjunction with classroom learning. Because of this, many schools are rapidly looking to add virtual programs alongside their traditional on-campus offerings. Is online learning for you? The flexible schedules and comfortable home learning are advantageous, especially if you’re working through school. At many schools, like Daymar College, you still get one-on-one interaction with your professors when pursuing your degree online. And, without anyone else in the virtual classroom, even the most reticent students find class participation easier. In an online curriculum, you can also learn at your own pace, giving you the opportunity to comprehend all the information before moving on.
Are you ready for the self-discipline it takes to excel when learning online? In high school, you budgeted your time after school to complete your assignments, but you showed up at school when required by your teachers. Online learning requires that you balance all your time, as you can attend classes in the morning, mid-day, evening or the middle of the night. Are you ready to take on that responsibility?
If not, a traditional classroom may be right for you. On-campus courses offer the major benefit of face-to-face interaction with professors and other students. In Daymar College classes, you don’t just get an education from the teachers, but from the diverse group of students in the classroom. College campuses offer one-of-a-kind opportunities to meet people that share common interests that you may never have encountered otherwise. Those bonds — formed through hard work — can help you get through the more difficult parts of earning a college degree.
The classroom provides an opportunity to share your ideas and develop the communication skills that will be crucial to your success on the job. You’ll cultivate a healthy ability to ask questions, as well as present your opinion and knowledge in a thoughtful, organized manner.
Perhaps the most important aspect of making a decision on higher education is to understand what you need from the school. Do you want the major university experience or do you feel you’ll get lost among the students? Sometimes the sheer population of a college is as important to determining your success as the curriculum itself. Some students are able to sit amongst numerous students, absorbing a professor’s lecture without asking questions. Other students thrive in classes of less than 10 students, in which they can raise their hands and ask for clarification when needed. In which atmosphere did you feel you’re most productive?
There are so many questions to answer when you’re preparing to transition from high school to college. Ask yourself as many as possible to make sure you make the right decision for the rest of your life.