A Duke Student’s Advice for Transitioning to College

April 21, 2014

We asked Ruby, a student at Duke, about the hardest points of transitioning to college. Read her answers here!

To answer this question in one word: flexibility. Growing up at the same school and living with the same people for 14 years through elementary school to high school, I had become accustomed to a set, rigid, daily routine.  I would wake up at the same time, go to class at the same time, eat lunch at the same time, do homework at the same time, and was involved with the same activities that met at the same time, every day for most my life.  However, in college, there is no routine – none! Every day is different as I have classes that start and end at different times of the day and my schedule is unpredictable.  That is why time management is so important, because you need know what you need to get done and when you have time to do it! Otherwise, you will think you have time later, only to realize that you don’t.

Also, planning out my day was burdensome because there were so many things to think about. There is no right answer as to where you should be, or what you should be doing so there is a lot of responsibility on your shoulders.  I found that in order to be successful in college, I needed to adjust to my dynamic environment and focus at one task at a time.  Because there are no short term deadlines for most my classes (only 2 midterms, a few problem sets and finals per semester) I found it very useful to delineate what my top priorities were for every day and then make sure to do them.  In college I learned that you need to be in control of your time, rather than time controlling what you do. Be proactive and honest with yourself about what you need to do every day, and then do it.  If something important comes up (which trust me, always does), know what your priorities are and adjust your plan so that you are most efficient and effective with your time.

To read Ruby’s admissions essays and other advice, visit her Admit profile!



Browse Successful Application Files

SChai
Georgetown ‘18


Accepted to Georgetown, NYU, Barnard, Northeastern

Hi, I'm Shannon! I'm from San Jose, California, spent a gap year living and working in Leipzig, Germany, and now I go to college in Washington D.C. I've shared everything I can remember about the college application process with y'all! :)
Lia_Columbia
Columbia ‘19


Accepted to Columbia

I'm a student at Columbia. I love writing, activism, terrible jokes, and binge-watching Netflix. Aspiring PhD students/teacher.
alm25
UT Austin ‘19


Accepted to UC Berkeley, USC, UMich, Illinois, UT Austin, UC Davis, UC Irvine, UCSD, UCSB, U of Minnesota, Arizona, WVU, Cal Poly, San Jose State

I'm from the SF Bay Area, but I'm betraying my roots by attending The University of Texas at Austin as a chemical engineering major. I like music, science and eating!
ltan98
Fordham ‘20


Accepted to American, Fordham, Skidmore, Syracuse, UC Irvine, UCSB

Hi there! I went to an American school in Hong Kong from K-12 and will be starting my freshman year at Fordham University at Lincoln Center in the fall. If you're interested in theater and come from overseas, I would be of particular help to you!

New Posts

Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
Dartmouth College 2018-2019 Supplemental Essay Prompts
September 17, 2018

Drafted your personal statement and ready to get started on your supplemental essays? Here are the supplemental essay prompts for Dartmouth College.Dartmouth College requires two additional pieces of writing on top of the Common...

What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
What You Need to Know about Athletic Scholarships
September 14, 2018

For many families, the only way to afford a college education is for their student to receive some financial aid. An athletic scholarship is one way that can help lower the price. Here’s what...

Still Figuring Out What School to Apply To?
Still Figuring Out What School to Apply To?
September 12, 2018

The school year is already in full swing. What if you’re a senior who hasn’t yet decided on a final college list? Don’t panic. Let’s get started. If you’re a...

Freshman Year: My First Weeks at Cornell University
Freshman Year: My First Weeks at Cornell University
September 03, 2018

As many of your are settling into your first weeks at college, we thought we’d ask our College Admits how their first weeks at college were. Here’s a reflection from JerBear, a Cornell...

Load More Posts