Preparing for College: What You Need to Know

Fall is around the corner and whether you’re a few years into your college career or this year marks the start of your college journey, getting ready for college can be an exciting adventure. What you should bring to college can change from year to year, especially depending on your location in relation to home, and whether or not you’ll be holding down a job. Preparing for college life should include a checklist to ensure you pack everything you need for the next several months of your life. Preparing for dorm life, if done well in advance, should take most the hassle out of your move, which can give you the freedom to learn and meet new people and helping to make your college experience the best it can be.

Here are a few tips for college planning:

  • Get used to technology – If you aren’t already proficient at using a tablet or laptop, familiarize yourself as soon as possible. Technology is everywhere. You’ll want to make studying and completing your work as easy as possible.
  • Practice using your time efficiently – Balancing your new academic life with your social life can be tricky. The right amounts of both are sure to leave you feeling fulfilled and having the best college experience you can get. Just make sure you’re capable of devoting the appropriate amount of time to each.
  • Make the tough decisions early (if you can) – Sometimes a job is necessary, but if you don’t absolutely have to you might want to hold off.,specially if it’s your freshman year. Other big decisions like whether or not to live in a dorm or rent an apartment or bring/purchase a vehicle are things you should decide before you make the big move.
  • Utilize your institution’s resources and networking opportunities – If your campus offers orientations, tutorials, and other meetings or gatherings, you should go! Meeting new people can make the transition easier, along with helping you feel more comfortable in your environment. Learning what resources you have available can be a huge stress relief if and when you need academic, financial, or any other type of assistance. Knowing who to go to if you need help should be one of your priorities while preparing for college life.
  • Speak with your guidance counselor – Some things you need to know before attending college include knowing exactly which courses will help you on your path to your ultimate goal. Ensure the courses you’ll be taking are the right ones for the greatest end result.
  • Create a “Preparing for College Checklist” – It should include things like items to pack for your living arrangement, items that will make studying and staying organized easier for you. Research lists of things college students forget to pack, like amenities, simple appliances and comforts from home.
  • Be sure you have copies of your vital records- When you’re moving away from home even if it’s just for a few months, you’ll need to have proper ID and may need a certified copy of your birth certificate to enroll in certain courses or events around campus.

Another great resource to find out what you’ll need to prepare yourself for college dorm life is to ask your friends. People who have already experienced college life will be able to fill you in on what’s really important to bring and what you can leave at home. The key to avoid unnecessary stress is good preparation before you leave for college. Your focus should be on completing your courses successfully while navigating an interesting and exciting new life adventure!

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