Going to college for your first time can be an enlightening but challenging task. Students need to be focused and take college seriously when it comes to school work, as it does not compare to high school. A tough workload, a busy schedule and moving away from the parents' house are just some of the stresses of going off to college.
In order to help you through this adjustment process, here are some steps to take when preparing for your first year in college.
Where will you live?
This is obviously very high on the priority list and a decision that can make or break your college experience. Study the dorms, selecting the one that best fits you. This is where you will be eating, sleeping, studying and meeting lifelong friends, so make it a good one. If you choose to live in a dorm, make sure you have a reservation and have submitted any roommate requests by the proper deadline.
Sometimes dorm living can get expensive, so you may want to start looking into off-campus apartments. Start searching for apartments near your college and ask what their policy is when renting to college students. Either way, you will want your living situation figured out months in advance, or it is sure to bring you additional stress.
Student Health Insurance
Many colleges require their students to have health insurance. If you are not going to be covered under your parents' plan, you should start getting quotes for coverage now.
Other Tips for Preparing for College
- Stay productive over summer. This way you will be mentally prepared and you won't lag behind when dealing with the fast-paced college workload.
- Sign up to receive our latest updates by email to get the latest college news, tips and advice in your inbox.
- Get as many scholarships as you can to help pay for college. College is expensive and you need all the help you can get. Check out college scholarships and see what you qualify for.
- Visit the college in-person with friends and/or family before starting school, and even before applying for that matter. This will help you get a feel for the college and the surrounding area.
- Follow college admission tips to ensure you will get in the college of your choice.
- Contact your roommates ahead of time. Make an effort to get to know them before going off to college.
- Start networking with other students on facebook.
- Take control of your finances. Get signed up with Mint.com to track your spending.
- Budget accordingly.
- Get a PrePaid Card. A student off at college will need an easy way for Mom and Dad to send money. This is where a prepaid Visa card comes in handy, as parents can easily add funds to a student's card.
- Visit RateMyProfessors.com and check out prospective teachers.
- Learn how to be organized, and stay organized. This is one of the keys to succeeding in college.
- Get yourself a nice Laptop. Having a good quality laptop will greatly increase your productivity in college and you will find it very useful and convenient. It is important to stay up to date on technology, especially while in college.
- Look at the requirements for your college major of choice and start planning out your school year.
- If you haven't decided on a major, take classes that will benefit you and be useful in your future. Get advice on choosing a major.
- What to Bring: Download our 'What to Bring to College' checklists for both guys and girls.