Heading to college this fall? Unsure of what to do this summer to prepare? Look no further! Welcome to all of my tips and tricks to ensure a smooth transition into this new start of your life.
College can be one of the best parts of your lives. It can also be a really stressful time transitioning from high school mode to college mode. Everything will be different and it can be a difficult time to prepare for a whole new world. My brother just graduated from high school and both him and my mother have been calling me about about all my college related tips the past few weeks.
I had a unique college experience because I was going to a school across the country. I didn’t really know anyone going and had only done one school tour the year prior. It was a bit nerve racking and I wish I had known some of these tips when I had started school. Now, I am about to enter my final year of college and I feel that I have quite a bit of insight on the subject.
That leads me into today’s post. I am going to share some of my tips on how to prepare for your first college semester.
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Keep an Eye Out on Your Student Portal
Of every single tip I have this is the MOST important one. You don’t want to miss any kind of deadlines so be diligent in keeping up with your student account. Completing tasks on time will allow for an easy transition and you’ll have enough time to finish anything that needs to get done.
Appreciate Your Freedom
This is your last summer of almost no responsibility. Enjoy it before life starts to get tough. Do the things you’ve always wanted to do in your home city with your friends. Take that mini road trip. Work at a fun job, sleep in a bit, just enjoy the summer.
Spend Time with Friends and Family
While this seems like a no brainer, really put in time and effort into seeing your family and friends. I only saw my family every 5-6 months my first two years of college and that was really difficult. I wish I had spent more time with them the summer before college. Being homesick during college is a real thing and having a good foundation before you leave can help you start college with a more positive mindset.
When You Graduate High School
Send Your Final Transcript
A lot of colleges will require that you send in your final high school transcript. It can be harder to do so once school is completely out for the summer. I would highly recommend that you get this done as soon as your classes are completed.
Complete Your Financial Aid
If you are using FAFSA, you made need to complete some additional training such as course online to educate you on your new loans. These trainings are essential to receiving your financial aid so get these done as soon as you can.
Get a Summer Job
While not everyone may need extra money to pay for college, everyone could use some extra spending money. Moving into college is also very expensive (think bedding, toiletries, etc), which is where I spent a majority of my summer money. Getting a summer job, or continuing one as soon as you finish school can let you save quite a bit before college starts.
Two Months Before College
Join Your College Facebook Groups
I found my college roommate through the facebook group! It was an awesome way to get to know not only your roommate but to find some new friends as well. Once we got our housing assignments, I was able to find other people living in the same dorm housing as me. I loved being able to connect with others. This made going to a college across the country much less stressful.
Attend Any College Functions
If you are able to attend any orientations or functions that your college puts on, attend them! I unfortunately lived across the country at the time so it was too difficult for me to go. I wish I could have! It’s another way to meet people and to learn the campus layout. If you have your class schedule by then, you can also start finding where they will be held. It is not fun being late to your first day of class because you got lost (trust me, I’ve been there).
The Month of Attending College
Start Thinking About Packing
If you live close enough and can bring more than two suitcases like me, see what you can take from your room! It’ll save you a lot of money if you can bring your own things such as bedding and storage solutions.
If you are needing to fly your things to your college, it may be cheaper to buy bigger items when you are there instead of shipping them. I ended up only bringing my clothes and some personal items and buying most of the things in California.
Communicate with your roommate! Dorms are often quite small and it’s no use to have duplicates of things! If one of you can bring a mini vacuum, the other one can bring a printer! It will help out in the long run as you accumulate items while you live there.
Two Weeks Before College
Go Over the Syllabi
For me, this is my favorite part not only first starting college but each semester. I love looking over each class’s syllabus and getting a head start. I prefer to be two weeks ahead if possible, so when unexpected things pop up I am prepared. The first couple weeks of college can be really busy with new orientations and events happening. I was so glad that I took some time and worked on some homework so I had more free time to attend the fun events.
See What Your College Offers
See if there are any clubs or sports you may want to join. Start contacting them and seeing if they may have a booth at an open house. You may be able to see that one club is offering free ___ during move in day. That would be a great way to get to know people with the same passions as you right from the beginning. It can be hard making friends, so starting to find your clique before college even begins can take some of the pressure off when you do actually get there.
Related: 7 Things I’ve learned in College
Ready for college yet? Did you find any of my tips helpful? Let me know what kind of blog post you’d like to see next!