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Preparing For College: 10 Tips For Your Freshman Success

You might be feeling a little anxious now you’ve completed your college application. You’re counting down the days until university begins and wondering whether there’s anything you can do to prepare for college.

Author:James Pierce
Reviewer:Paolo Reyna
Mar 04, 2024146 Shares29.1K Views
You might be feeling a little anxious now you’ve completed your college application. You’re counting down the days until university begins and wondering whether there’s anything you can do to prepare for college.
The good news is that there are lots of things you can do to prepare yourself for the next chapter in your life. It’s nowhere near as hard as you think and if you plan effectively, the next few years should be the funnest moments of your life.

Keep an Open Mind

College is full of new experiences, challenges, and opportunities to make new friends. It’s not a case of just surviving. Instead, you want to thrive. The best approach is to embrace the novelty of it all. Be receptive to the beliefs and ideas of all those new people you meet and when opportunity knocks, promise yourself that you’ll try to say “yes”.

Don’t Miss Orientation

Try to attend your student orientation or at least some of it. Generally, it’s a week in length and a great learning experience. You’ll be introduced to the school environment without stressing about getting to class. Learn about the campus layout. Ask all those pressing questions you’re longing to ask. Get an idea of how your dorm looks, meet new friends and faculty members, and even play games.

Hone Important College Skills

You’ve likely got plenty of important skills already, but college is going to be a big test of how skilled you are. You probably had plenty of help during high school, from parents, relatives, siblings, and mentors, but now you’re on your own.
Some important skills you should be working on include:
  • Budgeting
  • Time management
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Communication
  • Managing stress

Know Where to Go For Help

We’ve said you’re on your own now but that’s not strictly true. There is a network of help and guidance available from people such as your:
  • College counselor
  • Current or former teachers
  • Admissions counselor
  • Resident Assistant (RA)
And your parents, older siblings, friends, and extended family might be several hundred miles away but they’ll always be there if you need them.

Meet Your High School Counselor

Your high school counselor is the person hired at your high school to counsel you on applying and transitioning to college. They’re there specifically to help you plan your academic future. If you’ve got any questions, reservations, or concerns about starting university, they’re the best person to meet with.

Get Organized

Organization is key to college success because you need to stay on top of your time, studies, schedule, assignments, and everything else. Thanks to technology there are plenty of time management tools you can upload to your phone. A planner might also be useful to track progress, deadlines, and events.
You should also keep every college syllabus you’re given somewhere safe so you can refer to it regularly. It includes details of course requirements, assignment due dates, contact details, guidelines, and other critical information.

Research Your College

You’ve already done some research before choosing your college, but now’s the time to dig deeper. A good place to start is with the geography of the campus and the facility in general. A handy map might help either on paper or Google Maps.
Work out the quickest way to get from your dorm to your first class and then from class to class. It’ll save valuable time in the first few weeks.
Furthermore, get to know a bit more about the town or city you’re moving to. Familiarize yourself with public transport options and fun places to get in your downtime.

Check the Details of Any Financial Aid Received

If part or all of your college tuition is being paid by a grant, scholarship, or government financial aid, make sure everything is in order. Check the details of your aid package including what’s covered and what’s not. Keep notes of any requirements and important information so you don’t get caught out.

Make New Friends

There’s no time like the present to start making new friends and your priority should be getting to know your dorm mate. You’re going to be sharing the same space for months or even years, so you need to do everything you can to get along.
Find out whether any others from your high school are attending the same school as these will be easy and convenient friendships.

Read, Read, and Read Some More

University life involves lots of reading so a good way to prepare is to get some of your own reading in. Whatever your reading material of choice, it will help keep your mind sharp and ready to take on the next challenge in your life.
Once classes start, there will be less time to read the books you want to read, so get them in now. It’s also a great way to acclimatize yourself to the reading load that’s ahead of you.
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James Pierce

James Pierce

Paolo Reyna

Paolo Reyna

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