4 Ways You Can Prepare for Your Freshman Year of College
Your Freshman Year Of College Sets You Up For The Rest Of Your College Experience...
Likewise, the way you spend your final months of high school also sets you up for your freshman year. Here at WeAdmit, we know that you have a lot to balance during your senior year, and you probably want nothing more than to take a break; however, once your applications are complete, the most beneficial thing you can do during this time is focus on preparing for college.
Luckily, there are four core ways you can take action early and ensure that you start your freshman year confident and excited for the journey ahead!
What It Feels Like To Leave For College
High school students can feel a myriad of emotions from anxious to ecstatic as they prepare to become college freshmen. In the midst of enjoying your last few months of high school, there are plenty of small ways you can combat this stress and prepare for your freshman year.
If you have more negative feelings than positive ones about preparing for college, know that you’re not alone. This is a huge transition, and many college freshmen experience small bouts of homesickness, anxiety, and even second-guessing when the realness of starting a new chapter in their lives sets in.
Be validated and know that you're responding to this transition in a very normal way. Think about it: over the last four years of high school, a lot happened. You forged deep friendships and achieved great things. In a way, your high school could have become your home away from home. No wonder it’s hard to part with this special time in your life!
Let yourself go through the emotions, and don’t suppress them, or else they might resurface at an inconvenient time, like when you’re trying to adjust to your new life in college. Open yourself up to the transitional emotions, but don’t get stuck. Try to rediscover the parts of the college experience that initially excited you. Think about how hard you worked on your applications, and how it resulted in gaining admission into a great college!
Hold on to these victories, and you’ll overcome this hurdle in no time.
How You Can Prepare For College
You may still be busy during the last few months of your senior year. You have end-of-year parties, banquets, and ceremonies, preparations for summer school or summer internships, and graduation. Fortunately, when it comes to preparing for college there are plenty of small things you can do that will make a huge (and positive) difference in your first weeks as a college freshman.
NETWORK, NETWORK, NETWORK
Aside from learning the basics of networking and understanding how it can take you far in your career, try some of these easy methods to plug yourself into your college’s network.
Many colleges create groups on social media so students can communicate during breaks; look for social media groups for other incoming freshmen at your college, and join them! You can chat with other incoming freshmen and find students who enjoy similar activities. Make an effort to connect with your future classmates; you’ll be establishing yourself in your community early in the process which will serve you well in the long run.
Also, find the time to connect with your soon-to-be roommate. Many colleges give you access to your future roommate’s school email address, where you can shoot them a quick message and start talking about living together! It might be nice to connect with them early so you can figure out who is bringing what or how you’d like to decorate your room. Overall, connecting with your roommate could be more convenient than you might think.
GET INTO GOOD HABITS
College will be fun, for sure, but don’t forget about the core reason you’re going: you’re pursuing a degree! Regardless of your major, college classes are rigorous, so you’ll need to keep your brain active even after high school has ended.
If you haven’t already, start keeping a weekly schedule that you stick to; you can use tools like a calendar or planner to keep track of deadlines. As activities start to slow down in the final weeks of your senior year and you turn in your final papers and exams, find ways to stay organized and productive. Choose activities that you can carry over into the summer, so you’ll be starting college with a strong mindset.
Keep your brain active by reading, and reading a lot. Studies have shown that students who read for pleasure in their free time can recall information better and have a more agile thinking pattern, fit for a college classroom. Check with your future English professor to see if they have compiled a summer reading list, or better yet, a first book of the semester so you can get the ball rolling early.
Outside of school, get into good life habits, too. Think about budgeting so you don’t find yourself accidentally over-spending, and make time during the week for rest and self-care to combat potential burnout.
Even if you already visited your college’s campus before you found out that you were accepted, you should still make an effort to visit again before your first semester if you can.
When you initially visited campus, you were focused on finalizing your application. Now that you’re accepted, you can think about settling in and finding the spots on campus where you’ll be spending a lot of time. You can get familiar with your dorm, the dining halls, and the student unions where you’ll end up relaxing and studying over the next four years. It might also help you get a better idea of what you need to shop for when packing for dorm life!
GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW
Lastly, you’ll want to consider all the logistics that go into your move to college.
Hopefully, you know where you’ll be living as a college freshman. If you don’t have that planned out, be sure to check with your college’s housing office for deadlines regarding dorm choice or specifying that you’ll be living off-campus. Make sure you’re on top of housing plans so you’re not caught off guard later in the summer.
Also, figure out whether you’ll be bringing a car, or sticking to local transportation systems. This could seriously influence your freshman experience.
Other logistics can include health forms, major declaration, and signing up for your first semester classes. Many colleges provide their students with checklists so they can prepare, so check those out!
Preparing For A Great First Year
Your four years at college will be some of the best years of your life, and it’s up to you to start strong! As you get ready to leave for college, strive to find the balance between being well-prepared and excited for all the things you’ll learn about your new home.
Let yourself deal with all the emotions that come with the realization that you’ll be starting a new chapter of life. These can be tricky to navigate, so don’t hesitate to reach out to a trusted counselor or friend for help.
Do as much as you can to get into your college mindset by networking, building good habits, visiting campus with a fresh pair of eyes, and tying up all the loose ends of the transition too. The earlier you take care of all the tedious work that goes into beginning college, the sooner you’ll be able to start enjoying it!
Lastly, don’t forget about WeAdmit’s professional counselors who are available 24/7 to answer any questions you may have about the transition to college.
Ensure That You Start College Off On The Right Foot By Preparing Today!
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