When starting college there is a list of thing you need to know in order to succeed. It can be very stressful when you don’t know what you’re doing when you enter college. You kind of just wing it and try to figure it out from there, but there are soo many steps you should take before you start that I’ll list down below.
1. Financial Aid
Before starting college I’m sure even your counselor has said this, make sure you eligible for financial aid. The reason I say this is due to the fact that a lot of people don’t do this and end up paying a crazy amount, or they apply for financial aid but don’t make sure they’re eligible before they start and then they watch as all their classes get dropped.
Try and find out what scholarships you qualify for and apply to them. Unless your lucky enough to have your financial aid cover everything then its best to see if you can get a little more help or even enough help so you don’t owe anything, or don’t owe much.
I feel its best when you decide what you wanna study before you start. If you still don’t know?! Yes, college can help you figure it out, but I recommend if your undecided start with community college, not a four year. I further explain this issue in my article, “Why I chose community college over a 4-year college?” Heres the link: https://www.society19.com/why-i-chose-community-college-over-a-4-year-college/
Where do you plan on going to college? Now I don’t mean which college I mean where? Location is such a big deal, if you plan on commuting don’t pick a school that’s too far away and just decide that your gonna deal with the commute. I have friends who drive close to an hr to my college, “Westchester Community College”. You should hear the stress they put on themselves by doing this, or when it snows how they can’t make it. I only live 5 mins away from college which is great cause if I ever have to stop at the financial aid center or etc. its not a whole process since it’s a quick drive away. Also if you wanna go away to college think about that commute back home when you come back for the holidays and the prices, the last thing you wanna deal with is having too hard of travel back home around those times or even not being able to afford it.
5. Amazon prime
I never realize the importance of this until I waited until the last minute to get it. Sometimes your financial aid doesn’t cover your books, and the book store is gonna charge you an arm and a leg. So not only will Amazon prime offer you deals and give you free expedited shipping it’s 50% when you’re a student. Only $50 a year it’s really worth it to be honest. I also recommend you look into the other deals you get when you’re a college student like the Hulu and Spotify deal for $4.99 a month.
6. Don’t stress it!
I feel a lot of people even myself become very stressed when entering college. They automatically feel as if they have all this pressure on them even if its the simple fact that the workload may feel like a lot. I’m here to tell you that you’ll get through it. If it really gets that bad you have a certain amount of absences take one then. If you really need a break a semester off won’t kill you, actually, it will help you get your head straight on your goals. I talk about this further in my other article, that I provided the link to up above.
7. Summertime Funtime!
Don’t take your summer for granted! A lot of people even myself just use the summer before college like any other summer. This is your most stress-free summer, don’t believe me? Just think about it! You finished high school so nothing to worry about there, and you have nothing to worry about for college yet until the day comes. You need to use this time to chill down, relax, and have fun. Cause trust me as soon as college starts you’re either taking classes in the summer or worry about what classes you need to take for next semester. Sure you can still find time to be stress-free but it’s not the same as this very special summer, and you only have it once.
Figure out if before starting college you plan on working. Heres why?! The last thing you wanna do, which is what I did, so I’m speaking from experience. You don’t wanna apply for a job while you’re in school and deal with figuring out your hours based on your schedule. The reason I say this is cause you may not realize the stress this specific job can put on you while you’re in school especially since you’re not used to the hours and etc. it can cause you to miss homework, do badly on a test, or worst of all fail a class. It’s best when you start the job in advance and then change your hours based on your school schedule. Or make your school schedule around the normal hours you work. Also if you have the option to don’t work on the same days you have school it’s the worst. In my case I’m a babysitter and it’s not that bad working right after school cause I can do my school work at their job, and I’m hanging out at their house instead of my own, so really think about what you wanna do.
You may lose some friends. This is inevitable, sometimes you grow distant from your friends. But I’ll tell you the ones you keep are the ones to stay. In my case not only did I keep a couple, but I even grew closer to some friends from high school when they started coming to “Westchester Community college”; they can because being away at a 4 year became too stressful, which can happen for some. But don’t worry you’ll now the friends who are separating from you, and you can try to keep the friendships, but don’t fight for something with someone who isn’t fighting for it back.
10. Finding your self
This may sound like a weird one. All I’m trying to say is you learn a lot about yourself when you graduate college and you’re growing into becoming a new you. I myself learned more about myself, and I feel we learn more about ourselves as time goes on. I mean it’s been 3 years for me since high school and I can tell you I’m a completely different person, well not that different but I’ve grown and stopped caring about what others think, a layer of skin we all need to develop. So take some me time, even while you’re in school, allow yourself to grow, don’t stay close-minded to the idea.