1. Save money!
College is EXPENSIVE!! Consider getting a job during the summer! Paid internships are a great way to start making money for college. While searching for a job, keep in mind that your employer could potentially be a great resource for mentorship, recommendation letters, and connections.
2. Get signed up for your classes early.
There’s nothing worse than sitting through a boring class that you don’t want to be in because you didn’t plan ahead. Be sure to know when it is time to sign up for classes and organize your potential schedule in advance! Once you know what classes you want to take, sign up for them as soon as possible to reserve a spot!
3. Land an internship in your field of study to prepare you for your career.
The most important step to jump-starting your career and getting experience in your intended field is an internship! Internships are helpful for exploring different career paths while still in high school, and they often pay you for your time! Getting an internships builds connections for the future.
4. Meet your roommate ahead of time if possible.
Know your room preferences and discuss boundaries with your roommate before you move in. Be open minded, compromise is key to a good environment in your dorm. If you and your roommate live far from each other, connect through social media or set up a facetime/skype date if possible!
5. Plan your transportation before your first day.
Not all college campuses are the same. Therefore, know what you need to get around your campus on time and efficiently. Sometimes colleges are small enough to walk around campus, but often times, there is minimal time between classes and you need a more efficient form of transportation. Bring a bike, car, get a scooter, or ride the campus bus if there is one available. Another option is sharing rides with a friend!
6. Explore different career paths before making a definite choice.
There are two great ways to explore new careers: internships and general studies classes in college. Internships are the best way to explore different paths. That being said, internships aren’t always an option for students fresh out of high school. Students can also take general classes in college that give them a better idea of what interests them. Pursue classes in the subjects you find interesting!
7. Decorate your dorm!
Contact your roommate to make sure you agree on what your dorm will look like. Shop online at places like Target and Bed Bath & Beyond for affordable dorm decor. Most colleges only provide a desk, bed, and a chair upon arrival. Buy what you need to make your dorm stay a great experience!
8. Apply for scholarships early.
Always keep track of deadlines. Scholarship applications can either be found through the school, or provided from outside resources. Websites like FastWeb and Sally Mae provide scholarship and loan applications to make college affordable. In addition, apps like Scholly help you find the scholarships you need!
9. Talk to older students and alumni when you are on campus.
By communicating with other students, future freshmen can build connections and friendships before class starts! In addition, current students provide the best advice for new students!
10. Know safety procedures and what to do in an emergency before you arrive on campus.
Many colleges provide several ways to keep the campus secure. College ID cards, emergency call booths, and campus police all make colleges a safer place. Be familiar with safety procedures before arriving on your first day. Universities are required to report crime rates, so take a look at the annual crime rates to better prepare yourself for staying safe on campus.