When preparing for college, there are a number of different factors to keep in mind. In addition to shopping and organizing all of your necessities, you’ll want to research everything your college has to offer. Furthermore, you’ll want to become familiarized with the area and your living arrangements. Here are 10 tips on preparing for college as a new student.
Familiar With The Campus
Whether you choose to do so beforehand or the day of move in, you’ll want to become familiarized with your college campus. If you do choose to check out your college before move-in day, consider signing up for a campus tour. Before I moved onto my college campus, I toured it twice while also visiting it on my own. Not only was I able to receive helpful information about the college, but I was also able to explore it on my own, making it feel as if I already lived there. Since you’re going to be living there for an extended period of time, you’re going to want to know where everything is located before classes start.
While it might not seem like that big of a deal, looking into the transportation your college has to offer can be very useful. If you’re taking your car to campus, where are you going to park? If you want to make a trip down to the local grocery store, does the campus have a shuttle bus you can take? Are Uber and Lyft accessible to the area? Is there a train or subway you can take to get across town? These are all questions you’re going to want answers to, especially if you plan on venturing outside of campus.
No matter where you attend college, you’re going to want to look into campus security. While most colleges and universities have security poles across campus, some may not. If you ever get locked out of your room, feel uncomfortable walking home alone at night, or need to check in a guest, there’s a good chance you’re going to have to call campus police. Look into these resources and see how you can utilize them throughout your college experience.
Familiar With The Area
When moving to a new area, you’re going to want to see what that area has to offer. From places to eat to places to shop, you’ll want to know what places are near you. With the help of apps like “Four Square” and “Yelp”, finding this information will be easy. Although most colleges and universities host multiple events the first couple of weeks, you’re going to have that urge to adventure beyond your college campus. Before doing so, be sure to research your options.
Knowing the location of your health services will come in handy on those days that you’re feeling ill. If you’re someone who needs to take daily medication, be sure to find out whether or not your prescription can be sent to campus. If you ever have an emergency or even a throbbing headache, health services will be one of the first places you’ll want to go.
Finding out the location of your dorm or house is essential to preparing for college. Not only will it save you time on college move-in day, but it will provide you with insight on what you may or may not need. For example, if your college provides air conditioning, you’re not going to want to invest in a fan. However, if your college doesn’t provide air conditioning, you’re going to want to stock up on a couple of them. Additionally, you’ll want to see what class buildings your living arrangement is near.
Before starting classes, you’ll want to see whether or not you’re required to have a textbook for those classes. Nowadays, most college professors will send out syllabi prior to classes starting. If you are required to purchase a textbook, compare prizes between your college bookstore and online resources. Some colleges or universities might even match a price that you find online. Better yet, most professors will even have a book on reserve at the library for students who don’t have or want to spend the money on textbooks. We all know that textbooks can be costly, so be sure to utilize resources that will save you the most money.
Amenities The College Offers
In addition to dorms and dining halls, there are other amenities that your college or university could offer. It’s not uncommon for colleges or universities to have gyms, swimming pools, and late-night dining options. When preparing for college, be sure to research the amenities your college has to offer. If you’re someone who values fitness, you’re going to want to know when the gym is open or if there are additional exercise classes you could take. If you’re someone who doesn’t eat until late at night, you’re going to want to see if there’s somewhere you can grab a bite to eat. These are all amenities you’re going to want to utilize and have access to.
Prior to your first week of classes, you’re going to want to take a look at your class schedule. Unlike high school, college gives you the freedom to create your own schedule. With this freedom, it’s your responsibility to attend your classes on time and schedule meals or other activities in between breaks. Furthermore, you’re going to want to know where your classes are taking place. If you’re someone who lives on a big campus, you’re going to have to leave a couple minutes early to make it to class on time. If you only have 10 or 15 minutes to make it to your next class, you’re going to want to figure out the quickest way to get there. Although knowing this information may not seem like a big deal, college professors aren’t the biggest fans of tardiness. By planning everything out, you’re saving yourself from lost time and stress.
One of the most exciting parts about college is the chance to become involved in extracurricular activities. With multiple clubs to choose from, you’ll have plenty to do. If you’re someone who enjoys playing sports, see if there are any pick-up games you can join. If you’re interested in volunteer work, research the opportunities that your college offers. College is about pushing yourself outside your comfort zone and making memories. Although academics are important, finding a balance between academics and social life is even more important.