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As August creeps closer and closer, most college students are getting prepared to start school, move into their first apartment or dorm room, and embrace the glorious “adult” life. If you’re coming into college as a freshmen, then there are a lot of unknowns about the whole experience. But it’s honestly not that scary or anything you can’t handle. The biggest tip is to remember is to always be prepared. You don’t want to be the only person on campus that is in-prepared and highly confused on move in day. I remember when I first started college there was a lot of small details to remember and to do before the big move-in day. I created this post to hopefully help you iron out all of the details and to stay on track the few months before August rolls in.
1.) Research your teachers and register for classes
The best tip to give to new college students is to schedule an appointment with the counselor to set up a four year plan of exactly what classes that you need to graduate and to discuss any other items, such as study abroad or choosing a minor. While it’s totally fine to change majors during your college years, I find that it’s easier to do so when you already had a plan in place that you can look back on and figure out what your next move is going to be. A case in point is that if you change your major after your freshmen year, then you’re not too deep into your studies since you more than likely only took the standard classes.
But besides all of the planning, take a few hours to register for classes and research the different teachers for every class that you’ll be taking. I personally used RateMyProfessor to see all of the reviews from previous students. Now with this website, you have to take the information that you read with a grain of salt. By that I mean if you see one bad review out of 50, more than likely that particular student didn’t study for the class and now blames the teacher for not passing him. So just realize you’re not going to know if the reviewer is honest or is a good student so you’ll have to make a judgment call on what you should be believe or not to believe.Utilize the time before college to make sure all of your ducks are in a row B4 school starts. Click To Tweet
2.) Contact your Soon-to-be roommate or roommates
My freshmen year of college I had three roommates, all of which I had never met before and barely spoke to during the summer. Bad idea! It was so awkward the first couple of days trying to meet and learn about each other now that we are living in the same apartment. I was lucky enough to have an apartment style dorm where everyone got their own room and you only had to share the bathroom with one other person; It was a four bedroom, two bath dorm room. The awkwardness did go away, but it would’ve been better to speak more through text or email just so that we could’ve been closer before moving in. Plus you can get an idea of who’s bringing what so you don’t double up on common items such as a coffee maker or a large trash can.
When you’re reaching out to your future roommate, make sure to introduce yourself to help your future roommate get to know you better. I would mention major or potential major, hometown, favorite hobbies or activities, and anything else that you think would be important. Oh, I almost forgot to tell you! Make sure to tell your roommates if you’re an early bird or a night owl, if you plan to have overnight guests or lots of friends over during the school week. It’s more of a courtesy so that your future besties know what to expect and aren’t surprised by anything that should come up.
3.) Shop for dorm room supplies
I would start the earlier the better just because everything good or fashionable in the stores get sold out pretty quickly, especially as you get closer to the beginning of school. Just imagine the rush you get from buying school supplies in middle school or high school. It’s the same feeling times 10 because you’re now picking out what your future home away from home will look like. You can do anything with it! It’s a blank canvas for you to work on and make your masterpiece.
I created a move-in checklist to help you when you’re out shopping for supplies. It’s easy to forget the same details that you might forget about such as a hamper or a power strip. Just sign up below to get the checklist for FREE, yes for Free! You can also read the post that goes into further details on what you should bring to college that most people forget about, just click here.
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4.) Keep applying for scholarships
Most people in college start to relax after high school graduation and forget about the financial aspect of college. College is expensive, regardless of where you decide to go. During the summer, take any free time that you have to search and apply for scholarships, big or small. You never know what you might get and there’s no harm to trying to win free money to help you pay for your education.
During my senior year of high school, I think I had applied to almost 40 scholarships! That’s a lot of essays, paperwork, and whatnot, but it was totally worth it in the end because I won some free money. The good thing also about applying for scholarships in the summer is that less people are applying for them at that time. So less competition for you and better chance of you winning!
5.) Save as much money as you can
Work, work, work! Trust me when you want to make a midnight run for pizza or Chinese food, you’re going to want that extra cash to spend during college. There are a lot of unknown expenses that come up during your first year of college, including parking fees, social event fees, or club/organization membership fees or even a late night with friends. You’ll want to be prepared so that you can do whatever you want! Plus it’s awesome to have your own money to spend, at least that’s how I feel.
A lot of stores in the summer hire college students for the extra hand, since it’s the busiest time of the year besides thanksgiving or Christmas break. So drive around and see who’s hiring to start saving some money! You’ll be sure to find something that you’ll enjoy working at. I used to work for the local zoo in my area and it was such a fun job, especially during the summer. Talk about free tanning sessions since you’re out in the hot sun all day. I didn’t mind that though because who wouldn’t want to work around giraffes and elephants all day?!
6.) Spend some time with family
If you’re moving away for college, then this one is for you! Moving to a new place can be scary and fun, but it’s totally normal to miss the folks you’re leaving behind for 9 months. Or not to miss them! Many people get caught up in the excitement of college that they forget to enjoy the remaining time they have with family. Don’t be that person! Spend the time with your family making lasting memories or stories to share to your new friends in college.
7.) Reinvent your social media
As you start your college journey, you’ll want to remember that you’re also starting your professional career. The people you meet in college or on the job could be your future employer as a college grad one day!
This is the time to revamp and redo your social media accounts. Here are some suggestions to do just that:
- Delete those old photos that don’t highlight your current mature self
- Revamp your profiles and pictures to look more professional or even just nicer than what they were before
- Join Linkedin, it’s basically the professional Facebook to network with future employers
8.) Join Facebook groups for your college to start meeting people
Go into the Facebook website and search for “school name class of #” to find a group with fellow students at your university. Most of these groups are meant for selling different items, leasing out apartments, and look for roommates, but sometimes you’ll find people just looking to meet fellow classmates before classes begin. It’s a great way to get the inside scope on any classes that you might be interested in, especially if you can’t find any reviews on the teacher that teaches the course.Network on Facebook to meet other fellow incoming freshmen before Orientation Day. Click To Tweet
9.) Research clubs/organizations that you want to join
Most colleges have pages and pages of all of the different clubs and organizations that you can join! Set aside some time and look through them all. I would suggest only picking two or three that you are highly interested in that way you can check them out once you’re on campus. Picking an organization is almost like dating. It has to feel right and something that you’re interested in to encourage you to spend your precious time on in college. Choose wisely and don’t spread yourself too thin by trying to do everything that is offered on campus. Because trust me, it’s a lot and way too much for one person to do it all.
10.) Take a road trip with friends and create lasting memories
Lastly, enjoy your summer break! College can be stressful at times and you’ll want to enjoy your freedom as much as possibly before it’s time to pull an all-nighter studying. Get a group of your friends and hit the road to the beach or a mysterious destination to spend time together and make lasting memories.Take a spontaneous road trip with friends to enjoy the time you still have together. Click To Tweet
Coming into your first year of college is such a fun and exciting adventure that takes a lot of pieces to come together to make such a grand experience. Starting early in the summer with planning and packing will save you so much stress and headache, instead of waiting until the week before move-in day to get your life together. Trust me, you don’t want to be the frazzled student, which let’s be honest you’ll probably will be but less frazzled if you had prepared to be frazzled. If that makes sense, leave a comment below because that was such a mouthful!
I hope that you enjoyed this post and if you did, please share to your social media accounts so everyone who needs to read this gets the chance to do so.
What’s the best advice you would give to incoming college students or life lesson that you learned during your freshmen year of college? Leave a comment below!