Going off to college is a big life change, and it can be very stressful, at first. So, it's a great idea to start getting ready ahead of time, so you can feel more prepared and at ease. Here are a few things you might want to do to get ready:
- Go back for another visit. You may have visited schools while you were applying, but now that you know which one you'll attend, go back for a more in-depth tour. Find a student-led tour, if possible, so you can get the inside scoop. Find out where your dorm is, where your classes will be, how far it is, and what mode of transportation you'll use. Do you need a bike, or is there a bus? Practice the trip, so you'll know how long it takes to get to class on time. Find out where the cafeteria is, where you'll do laundry, and where the student health center is, just in case.
- Check out the year-round weather at your college. Make a list of clothing you'll need to pack, based on the weather there.
- Find out how your dorm room will be furnished, and make a list of items you'll need to bring. Do they supply sheets? Do you need a mini-fridge? A desk? A lamp? Often, residents don't have control over the room temperature, so be prepared with cozy blankets from home, and a small fan, just in case.
- Where are the bathrooms located, and how private are they? If they're down the hall, and only semi-private, you'll want slippers, shower shoes, a robe, a shower caddy to carry your supplies, etc. Make a list of the items you'll want to bring with you.
- Figure out how you'll stay organized. College may be the first time you are totally on your own to keep track of your schedule. You'll need a detailed planner or calendar of some sort, to keep track of class times, due dates, and extra-curricular activities.
- Find out how you'll pay for things. Do you need a checking account? A credit card? A meal voucher?
- Find out where your friends are going to college, and make plans to stay in touch. Get their phone numbers or email addresses, so you can reach out, if you find yourself feeling a bit homesick.
- Join social media groups of other incoming students at your new school. Ask questions, and get to know a few folks ahead of time. If you know who your roommate will be, link up on social media, so you can introduce yourself, and maybe even coordinate who is bringing what: you may not need two fridges, two hot pots, and two window fans!
Hope that helps you get started, and good luck!
Lynette recommends the following next steps:
There are many great steps you can take as a senior in high school to prepare for university. One suggestion may be to consider taking honors level courses, or even college programs within your high school if they are offered. While it may sound intimidating, colleges often partner with high schools to provide the benefit of being prepared, and may even offer you credits that can be transferred to a university when you are ready to go. I was able to take two college level English courses during my senior year, and I successfully graduated with six English credits from Syracuse University. Another idea may be to consider volunteer activities or groups within your community. Branching out and networking will be a great tool for adjusting to your new environment of attending university, and being prepared to socialize on a new level will help you feel more comfortable with the transition.