As an incoming freshman about to go to college, I am so excited–but also SO nervous! I have most definitely put some thought into what I need to do to get ready for college. I haven’t arrived on campus just yet, so I’m not sure exactly what it will be like. However, I am a planner–I thrive in stability–so I like to control as much as possible in order to be fully prepared. Here are 10 ways to prepare for college that will have you ready for the best journey yet!
1. Save Money
The summer before freshman year is a prime time to save some money prepare for college. However you decide to do this is your choice, and if you’re passionate about your job/jnternship, that’s even better! You are going to need some extra cash for college for spending, and it’s always a good idea to have an emergency fund stowed away.
2. Research your school’s clubs and organizations and have an idea of what you want to be a part of.
If you’re anything like me, you like for things to be planned out, so you control the things you can plan. You don’t have to know every detail of the next four years–in fact it’s impossible–but knowing some organizations and clubs you might want to join will probably make your first few weeks a little easier. Plus, college is your chance to immerse yourself in your passions, and what better way to do this than to join something you’re passionate about! If you’re interested in Greek Life, it might be a good idea to do some pre-rush research to get to know the sororities/fraternities a little better.
3. Join the freshman classes GroupMe.
Most colleges will have a GroupMe for the committed incoming freshman. Joining your college’s will help you establish initial connections with your classmates, bond with them, and help you stay on track with the things you need to do over the summer for your college. Getting to know your classmates before you get to campus is always a good idea, so however you choose to do that will help you tremendously.
4. Construct your college closet.
Condensing your closet into a practical, functional, and stylish wardrobe is something that is absolutely necessary for college, and it might take a little more time. Begin to go though pieces, create outfits, and replace/replenish the clothes you won’t wear or are worn out. Recognize your staples and don’t forget to pack those. Remember, most students wear casual, comfortable clothing during the weekdays, so keep that in mind.
Bonus Tip: My best friend told me to pack for college like you’re going somewhere for 2 while covering the types of dress (T. Shirts, casual, cute, and a few fancy outfits.) I thought this was great advice!
5. Make a college wishlist and begin to mark the necessities off.
This list can be full of things that you truly want for your home away from home. Yes, you will need a lamp, bedding, etc., but this list can also be full of fun things that will make shopping for when you prepare for college more exciting.
6. Sign up for Way Up.
WayUp is an online career service specifically designed for students and post-grads. This website connects employers with students and is a great way to find jobs to build your resume. The goal of college is to prepare you for your career, so now is the time to get started with building your resume. This is also a great way to make money doing things you are passionate about!
7. Learn the skills you will need to live your life independently.
This is a big one. Maybe experiment in the kitchen–learn how to cook some basic meals, or even learn how to do laundry if you haven’t before. There WILL be skills that you didn’t realize you needed to know before you go to college, so learning some of the skills beforehand will make the transition so much easier.
8. If you haven’t already, decide your top 3 degree choices that are available at your college.
Even if you are going undeclared, you are going to have to eventually decide something. In order to prepare for college, make sure you have done your research and have some areas of study in mind. Even if you have decided on a major, it’s always good to have a backup plan or two.
9. Create a bucket list of things you want to do that are available in your college town/ places you want to visit.
This is a MUST, especially if you are living somewhere that you haven’t been before. Be a tourist in your college town–you might never live there again! I will be living on the West Coast, and I am so excited to explore all of the fun attractions, food, and adventures that SoCal has to offer.
10. Have an open mind.
College can provoke a lot of anxiety; I am experiencing that first hand for sure. You want to know who your friends will be and what it will be like. Remember to have an open mind about everything. If you have friends going to your same college, don’t limit yourself to them. Have an open mind about professors, classes, etc. Don’t let other people’s opinions prevent you from having the time of your life. Remember, this is YOUR college experience and no one else’s.
With so much excitement ahead, I know it’s hard to not go crazy thinking about your next 4 years. Try your best to be present in the moment, and soak up your friends and family. Be happy with yourself now, but look forward to the growth you will have in college. Soak every moment up as it happens. You will be great in college, and tell yourself that!