It has been said numerous times, but high school doesn’t prepare you for the life of a college student. College is more complex, as it teaches you how to adult in the real world. Your first day of college is every single emotion wrapped into one, so here is everything you need to know before you start college.
The purpose of student orientation is to help prepare you for the start of the semester. You will learn all about the school’s campus and the active student life of the college or university that you are attending. For some, this experience will be an overwhelming, so you might want to bring along a family member or friend to support you.
2. Student Account
Every student at your college has a student account, so that means you will too. Some of your classes will require that you use this account, while others will not. The most important thing regarding your student account is that possesses your student email and this is how your professors will contact you if they need to. I recommend that you check your email daily because your professors will cancel class on you when you least expect it.
Textbooks are the most stressful purchase for college students. You should always check the class syllabus to assure that you need the textbook, because the last thing you want to do is waste money. Your college will recommend that you buy your textbooks from their school store. However, you can purchase your textbooks online for a much cheaper price at Chegg, Amazon, Ecampus Textbooks, and etc. At the end of the semester, if see no further use for the textbooks that you own, then I recommend that you sell them on Chegg or Ecampus Textbooks.
4. Rate My Professor
This website is a lifesaver for when you’re registering for classes. Rate My Professor is a website where students rate their past professors based on teaching performance. You can look up any professor at any university, and at the end of each semester you yourself can rate the professors that you’ve taken a class with. The highest a professor can be rated is a five (excellent) and the lowest is a one (poor). The professor is also rated according to the course’s level of difficulty – five signifies that the course was extremely difficult and one signifies that is was easy.
5. No Dress Code
High school dreaded you with the do’s and don’ts of dress code, but in college you can throw all of that non-sense out the window. You can essentially come as you are in college; you can change your hair, show some skin, and reveal any tattoos or piercings. Be the most authentically you that you can be.
Finding a parking spot on a college campus is like the fight for the Hunger Games. Your college or university will most likely have categorized parking: commuters, dorm, staff, visitor, etc. It’s important that you purchase a parking permit for your vehicle before the college semester starts, because they will ticket you if you don’t have one. If you do receive a ticket, then you will have to pay roughly a $40 fine. At the beginning of the term, it’s best to arrive early so that you have time to find a good parking spot, but keep in mind that everyone has that same idea.
7. Living Situation
It’s important that you know where you will be living before you start college, whether you decide to live at home or on campus, it may take some planning. If you choose to live on campus, then your apartment/dorm may require a list of do’s and don’ts that you have to follow. If you are to live at home, then you have to factor in the commute and parking, because you don’t want to be late on your first day.
As a freshman, you will be advised by the members of your college (ex: humanities and social sciences). If you haven’t picked a major by the time college starts, then don’t sweat it you because your advisor is there to help you figure it all out. Remember that it is normal to go through a period of change when it comes to your major or minor.