When I started college, I quickly realized that the rest of my class was far ahead of me. In addition to struggling to understand the material, I also had a hard time working in group settings and understanding how the lectures tied to the homework. After failing my first two semesters, a helpful counselor asked me to sign up for a study habits class. In the class, I learned how to apply myself in formal educational settings, which really helped. I think that everyone should take the time to understand how to learn, so that they can be successful in their classes.
According to the U.S. Department of Education, nearly 62% of students who attended Catholic high schools earned at least a bachelor's degree within 8 years of graduating from high school. Only 31.1% of public school students obtain a bachelor's degree or higher, which means Catholic high school students are twice as likely to earn a degree.
If you're thinking of switching from a public school to a catholic school, it can be tough starting over in a new school, especially one that may be vastly different from what you are used to and where you have no friends. Here are a few tips to help you transition from public to Catholic school.
Read the Rule Book
When you enroll, you will receive a rule book. Of course, you'll be asked to read it. But, really delve into it until you have a firm understanding of your new school and the rules they have in place, especially if you have attended public schools your entire life. Catholic schools are well-known to be stricter than public schools, which is likely why Catholic school students have a higher success rate in their future educational endeavors.
If you do not understand a rule or have any questions about the school, call and make an appointment with a faculty member prior to your first day of school. That way you can start the year off on the right foot. Also, meeting with one or more faculty members may help reduce your anxiety about the transition from public to Catholic school.
Attend Summer Session
Most schools offer summer session, which may be called summer school in some areas. Attend summer session to get accustomed to the school curriculum with a lower number of students in attendance. Summer session can also help you determine what areas you need to work on and whether or not you need special assistance from a resource specialist to get caught up-to-speed with the other students prior to the first day of the school year. Your Catholic school can arrange for a resource specialist or guidance counselor to assist you with any additional resources you may need.
Blend In With the Other Students
As a new student in a new environment with dress codes, you'll need to blend in with the other students. This may be challenging for you, especially if your public school did not require uniforms or had a lax dress code.
Females: It's a good idea to keep your makeup and hairstyle to a minimum. Natural makeup application is the way to go until you see how the other students who have already been attending the school wear their makeup. The same holds true for your hairstyle choices. Tame your mane with a slicked back ponytail until you see first-hand how other students style their hair.
Males: Your school will likely have hair length and facial hair policies. It's a good idea to start the school year off with a short hair cut. You may find it challenging to keep your hair length within the policy limitations until you have time to adjust to your new schedule with your academic and extracurricular activities. If you are allowed to grow facial hair, be sure to choose a style that can be kept neatly groomed throughout the day.
Participate in Extracurricular Activities
Participation in extracurricular activities such as band, chorus, clubs and sports is not only great for your college applications, but it can also help you make new friends in your new school. Choose extracurricular activities that you are interested in and can participate in without taking time away from what could be a demanding academic and homework schedule. Some activities begin before the start of the school year, which can help you through the transition process.
Transitioning from public school to a Catholic school, particularly during the formidable teenage years, may feel like a daunting task. However, easing into the transition with summer sessions and extracurricular activities that may start before the beginning of the school year can make the transition easier.