For all of you graduating seniors, being told that you’re accepted into college is an amazing feeling. Not only does it get rid of the pressure of actually being accepted somewhere, but it reassures you that your future (or at least the next four years of it) is now fairly secure. What’s after that though? Most have no idea what to do next. How do you get ready for college life?
Before even worrying about what to do when you get to college, students have plenty of preparations they need to do in the summer beforehand. According to an article in U.S News, reading a lot before the semester begins can help students get used to the larger amount of required reading in college. The website also recommends that prospective students brush up on social and technology skills to make the transition easier and more relaxed.
Another excellent idea is to tour the college you will be attending. Karen Williams, owner of the business College stride, an organization that helps students get through college admissions, recommends the “if you have never visited a place you plan to attend, you should definitely visit before orientation.” Not only does visiting help you see if you truly like the environment you’ll be staying in, it also lets you familiarize yourself with the campus.
The next step is make sure you know what to bring with you to college. While obviously you’ll need basic necessities like bed sheets and clothes, Williams had other insights regarding peculiar objects to bring.
“Beyond the obvious toothbrush, etc., you might find a hammer, pliers and a screwdriver useful. And ziplock bags and a Halloween costume.”
For buying things you don’t already have, Williams says thrift stores can be an inexpensive way to do it. For students in Kalamazoo, they have places like Second Impressions.
Something students should also get used to is the vast differences they’ll have in their daily lives in university compared to their life at home. Something Williams reminds students of is that since they are representing a school, they have to present themselves better in public settings.
“Remember wherever you live that you are a student first,” she said.
Another important thing for students to get used to is living with roommates. Students will have to adjust to living in a smaller space, with lots of people. Williams says that it’s “even more important to keep things tidy because it is a small space, especially if you have a roommate or two.”
For students who get homesick or nervous around new people, college life can seem pretty daunting. For someone who also experiences these fears, Williams gives me, and others some solid advice on what to expect.
“Be patient with yourself in the transition but also remember it’s good to meet new people –you might have to put yourself out there a little bit to build your new community and remember everyone at college is new and adjusting, not just you,” she said.
As a final piece of advice, Williams wants students to remember that will also be learning things outside the classroom as well, and should “go to the campus’ Career Center at least once/term.”
For other helpful tips, here’s an article from USA Today on how to make friends in college.