EYEWITNESS NEWS (WBRE/WYOU) — This spring, millions of students will graduate high school and eventually embark on their college careers. But that transition from high school to college can be a difficult one.

The start of college life can be both exciting and nerve-racking. While many high school seniors may look forward to a life of independence and freedom, many have difficulties during their first year away from home.

But there are ways to avoid pitfalls to ensure a successful college career.

For Ava Hazzouri, a senior at Wyoming Seminary (Sem) in Kingston, her last year of high school is bittersweet. Although Ava is excited about embarking on her college career in the fall, she is sad that her high school experience at Sem is coming to an end.

“I’m probably most nervous about leaving my parents because I am an only child. I feel like I’ve just been home because of COVID. I’ve just been with them for like a year so it’s definitely gonna be a big adjustment,” said Wyoming Seminary Senior, Ava Hazzouri.

And it’s that adjustment period that can be difficult for some incoming college freshmen. Evan Weinberger is the Co-founder and CEO of Illuminos an academic coaching and tutoring company. He says mastering executive functioning skills are necessary for success in the classroom and beyond.

“Producing and developing good study skills, practicing self-management skills, calendar, develop productive habits, routines, understanding school is a full-time job,” said Evan Weinberger, CEO, and Co-founder of Illuminos.

So how can parents help kids in high school develop those skills before they get to college?

“Have kids write lists and leave them around the house. Here are five things I need to do in the morning, here are five things I need to do when I get home. Kids need to pick out their own clothes, doing that the night before so it’s not a rush to get out of the house. They need to set the alarm multiple times to get out of bed independently,” said Weinberger.

And learning how to be independent in high school is one way to avoid pitfalls in college.

“The biggest difference is, in high school things find you. In college you have to find those things which include where to study, books, stickers you need for your car, where to get a haircut, groceries, how to get help if you need to get in certain courses, it’s all about advocating for yourself,” Weinberger explained.

Skills Ava Hazzouri has already mastered for herself.

“I’m used to figuring out and navigating things on my own, but asking for help when I need it. So we’ll see how it goes but I’m definitely prepared,” Hazzouri stated.

And remember If you’re productive and efficient, there will be plenty of time to meet new people and have fun in college as well.