What are the first steps in preparing for college after you have accepted their offer?
After you finally submit a deposit to the college that you plan on going to, what are the next steps to prepare for all the different aspects and opportunities that college offers. #planning #college
Jasanpreet Kaur Bhatia
Before i answer, i would really like to appreciate that you thought about “Planning”.
Following are the things you can do:
- Read about the course
- Do some online research about the topics.
- Get update with kind of extracurricular activities.
- Make sure you have all the softwares that you might need.
1. Financial Aid and scholarships: you can look into the college's financial aid office or ask your high school counselors if there are any financial aid or scholarship admissions that you can sign up for. Usually, this needs to be done months before school starts, so it's best to plan ahead
2. Orientation: usually, there will be some sort of orientation by your college to introduce you to the campus, show you how to register for classes, etc., so make sure to sign up and attend if you can!
3. Living Arrangements: if you plan to live in campus housing, the deadline to apply is usually months before the semester starts, so look out for notices on that. Looking for an apartment nearby should also be done one to two months ahead of time. There are often student groups through the college or on social media where you can meet potential roommates or find out about open apartments.
4. If you want a head start on meeting people and extracurricular activities, there are either online groups through the college or FB groups that let you chat with other incoming students and get the lay of the land.
Congrats on your college acceptance! Once you've covered your bases with these important steps, now you can just look forward to your college experience!
Congratulations on making the decision for college, as well as looking forward for how you'll execute a successful first semester. While there are different circumstances that surround the college experience (from an in-state vs. out-of-state perspective, as well as the multiple areas of preparation -- i.e., coursework/books vs. residency/living vs. financial/tuition, etc.), I'll try to keep it neutral in my response.
Just like any new job, there's planning that most people put together in order to (a) identify specific tasks to be done prior to the job 'start date', (b) set specific timelines to complete those tasks in advance and, (c) assign key resources to those tasks in order to maximize success of all task in the appropriately allotted timeframe. So within this first statement, the three (3) buckets that would be ideal to look at would be your 'Tasks', your 'Timelines' and your 'Resources'. So let's look at these individually -- you may want to get some paper, or perhaps a large, wall-sized notepad:
(1) Tasks -- Within this bucket will be your larger tasks, which will set the pace for the other two buckets. If you list out the individual segments of college here, it might look something like this -- not necessarily in this order: (a) Books & Supplies (b) Dormitory (c) Financial Aid (d) Personal Expenses & Travel
Within these specific 'sub-buckets', just list out anything & everything that you can think of which would be a 'need-to-have'. This might take you 5 mins, or a couple days...but I'd give it the due diligence it needs which will be helpful for the latter part of the process. Once you have (what you consider to be) an exhaustive list...it might be helpful to run the list(s) past a couple impartial parties (i.e., parents, friends, etc.) to make sure that the list is complete -- not so much that there are things on it that you may not need...we'll get to that later.
Before moving to the next phase, let's take a minute to breakdown a couple examples of these tasks...at least, to get you started:
(a) Books & Supplies -- basic paper/pencils/etc., list of books (based on syllabus), software, electronics/laptop or tablet...basically if it has to do with your classes, homework and all things in-between
(b) Dormitory -- this is your living space, so how do you want it to look/feel (bedding, shower, personal hygiene, lighting, wall decoration, etc...try not to go overboard, you'll be back home in 6-mos (smile)
(c) Financial Aid -- this relates to any applications, documents, transcripts, letters of recommendation that you'll need to provide. Not to mention that little thing called 'Scholarships' -- researching these can be a big deal (and they do take some time) and are much better to have than just getting a loan, so don't wait to get on it.
(d) Personal Expenses & Travel -- You'll have expenses in college that will require $$$, so determine what those might be in advance -- based on other things that you'll look to do when you're not going to classes. Depending on where college is, either you're driving or flying back and forth for breaks (vs. commuting)...so this is important to map out and set some expectation for the expense.
Now that we've got that established, we can move on to bucket number two: Timelines...
(2) Timelines -- The simplicity here is that most of the items above that are school related have their own timelines/deadlines, so it's just a question of making sure that you are aware of the timelines and can prioritize them. You guessed it...probably want to make a list of these items (w/in your bucket list) and that will allow you to assign the timelines/deadlines to them in once location before the next step.
If you're a standard calendar person (or an electric planner person), it's critical to identify those timelines and add them to your planning tool in advance so that nothing catches you by surprise. You may want to add a 'reminder' to those deadlines as they draw closer...just in case things slip the mind. Make sure to check-in on these periodically to check off what's done. Hopefully this does not seems so overwhelming, given that you do have some time to get it done, however, the best part about this is that you don't have to do it all alone, which brings us to the last bucket -- Resources...
(3) Resources -- In the old west, when the sheriff was considered 'the Law' of a given town, he had a number of things to deal with (even in a small town)...to which, there were always one to two other individuals that were deputized to help. As you look at your lists/buckets, if there are areas that can be assigned to mom, dad, siblings, past teachers/pastors/employers (for recommendation/application/scholarships), etc., then you should 'ask' & 'add' them to the process and make sure that they understand what's needed and when it's needed by.
It's usually here where the narrowing process will happen, which is a helpful step to determine what's needed vs. what's not (mostly in the personal/travel/residency sub-buckets). There's an old African proverb which says -- "If you want to go fast, you go alone...if you want to go far, you go with others.", so keep this in mind when you put your buckets, lists and put your pre-college plan in play.
Hoping this helps Andie and best of luck to you in college.