It is now August and most of you are preparing to start classes in just a few short weeks and a little over a month for those on the quarter system. Like you most students are starting to freak out and wonder how the last days of summer will play out, making sure you have everything for college, and the feat itself of actually leaving for the school. Don’t worry below are a few tips to help you wind down your summer and start the year off smoothly.
1. Be invested in the process. Do not leave everything up to your parents to decide. Have a voice and let them know you are just as invested in the process as they are. Find out what questions they ask and see if you can find the answer. Find out if they will be accompanying you to orientation and if so what sessions you all will be attending. Go shopping for school supplies and housing needs together; it is much easier to use items that you selected and enjoy. Fill out forms together; having your mom fill out you housing application may not yield the best roommate for you. Let your parents know your concerns and fears. Keep them in the loop for all bills and “to-do” items you may receive from the school.
2. Spend as much time as you can with family and friends. Some students leave for college and relationships are strained, the bond is broken, or exchanges stop occurring. It is not unheard of for students to leave home and not return home, except on holidays. Try your best to strengthen and maintain relationships before you leave. When you get to school, you will make new friends, but try to maintain those relationships from home. Visit when you can, write letters, update Facebook frequently, and let your loved ones know you still care.
3. Work more now. Try to pick up an extra shift at work when you can, do some extra babysitting, and save more while spending less. College will present all sorts of opportunities to spend money; late night pizza, lab equipment, gas money to get home, etc. Save now so that when unexpected expenses occur you can avoid unnecessary stress or partake in the fun. Always plan for a rainy day and keep short-term goals like a Spring Break trip or a Study Abroad opportunity in mind.
4. Get your living space in order. Rather you are living on campus or in an apartment. Make sure your living space is CONFIRMED! Students have been surprised to arrive at school and learn they do not have an assigned living space, because they missed a payment, failed to submit important documents, or sign-off on their leasing agreement. After you have confirmed housing, start making a list and gathering the items you will need. Many schools offer list of items students should consider bringing to school and those items that should be left at home. Review the list so you have all of your essentials and do not waste your money on things that are against policy or will not be used. Also, work with your new roommate. Introduce yourself before school starts (via email, Facebook, or meet up at orientation) figure out who will bring which items on your list of necessities; no need to have to microwaves:)
5. Get organized early. By now, many of you have signed up for classes (usually at orientation), received your student ID, and have been assigned your official school email address. Feel free to go online and explore the student section of the students Web portal. Check and see if your professors have posted the class syllabus. The syllabus is very important as it lets you know what supplies/books you will need for the class, when assignments are due, and the purpose/objectives of the class. Find out what books you need and order them early. The early bird gets cheaper books. Get a jump-start on reading the first few chapters. Start thinking about the assignments that will be submitted throughout the semester. The earlier you get focused, the more successful you will be throughout the semester.
Danielle has given some really great tips for getting ready for this first semester of college. I know that as a student, I LOVE being organized with books, syllabus and even having a reading assignment done. While that sounds geeky, it gives me time to relax and catch up with friends while they move in. Contacting your roommate before coming to school is always great. It makes moving in not so awkward.
Just remember to have fun and enjoy the experience! =)