Transitioning to College


This chapter provides an introduction to the transition to college by first asking “Why are you in college?” Understanding your “why” and what a college degree can do for you is the foundation of making a smooth transition. These experiences are part of being in college, and this chapter provides you with information about what to expect and how to handle the changes you will go through.

Now that you have read and reflected on the main ideas of the chapter, consider developing a plan to help you achieve college success by considering what you want to know more about that could help you? Review the list below and commit to working on one or more of the concepts this term and beyond.

  • Research the long-term value of your college major or degree. Look at potential careers associated with your major and reflect on what you will learn during college that will help you with your career.
  • Identify the hidden curriculum or unwritten rules at your institution. What do your professors expect but don’t explicitly state? What are your strategies for uncovering the hidden curriculum during your college experience?
  • Create a list of resources to help you in college. Choose one or more to use this term to engage and determine how well the resource helped you with a challenge.
  • Reflect on the occasions in which you have exhibited a fixed mindset. What will you commit to doing that would help you exhibit a growth mindset?



Adapted from Amy Baldwin’s “1. Transitioning to College: Summary” of College Success Concise, 2023, used according to  CC by 4.0. Access for free at



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UNM Core Writing OER Collection Copyright © 2023 by University of New Mexico is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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