Apartment Living BlogOff-campus Living › How To Prepare For College

Transitioning from a high school student to a college student is rough for most. However, this is an exciting new chapter in your life! So you’ve been accepted into the perfect school and excited to find a great roommate and curious as to what the classes will be like. Not so fast though on the prep time. There are still some things you need to do to prepare yourself for the big leap. This is what EVERY student should do before leaving for college, fall or spring semester.

Start shopping: If you know where you are going to live that doesn’t mean you are ready to move in when the time comes. Whether you’re planning on staying in a dorm or an off-campus apartment, there are some things you should buy before moving in – ahead of time. Search online for a detailed checklist to help identify what you need to bring from home or buy. If you are staying in a dorm room, your checklist will be much shorter – thankfully! Typical stuff to bring (from home) or to buy: twin size bedding, maybe a lamp or two, cleaning supplies, organizational items, toiletries for the hallway bathroom, linens and more. Of course you can always add more to the list like fun decorations to breathe life into a rather boring room. Don’t forget the most important part of the room is the desk. Make sure you buy all of the necessary items to supply those drawers with notebooks, pens, markers, calendar, the works! If the dorms are a no-go this semester/school year and you’re moving into an off-campus apartment, the list will definitely get lengthy. So, you’ll need to bring what was stated above and then some, such as furniture, kitchen supplies and more. Again, make sure to get the majority of your shopping done in advance. No need to stress yourself out and scramble to buy/organize everything last minute.

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Research what’s on campus: Before heading off, do some research on your campus. Get a good idea of what’s on campus like on-campus clubs, sports, and other social activities. College has a number of different opportunities for students to explore! Once you know what your school has to offer, plan on joining or going to those events as soon as possible after arriving to the campus. Doing research prior to the start of the semester/school year starting will ensure that you don’t miss any sign-up dates or deadlines. This would also be a good opportunity to look for jobs in town, whether on or off campus. Let’s face it, from expensive tuition to daily expenses, college costs will add up quickly. Looking for a part-time job in advance gives you not only a head start on budgeting, but you can apply before most jobs are taken. 

Save money: As mentioned above, college and regular living costs can get expensive! If you feel like you need have some extra cash, make sure to save your money beforehand from a long-term or short-term summer job. Set aside a percentage amount of your paycheck into your online piggy bank (aka – savings account). It’s not fun to see a portion of your money go into hiding, but it will help you in the long run.

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College life skills: College can be very tricky and will take some time getting use to. If college is a breeze like high school was, then it would A’s all around. In order to do well in college, especially your first semester, here are a number of ‘skills’ that you need to polish if you really want that well-paid-for degree.

  • Concentration: This especially applies to college level reading. If you had a lot of reading in high school, it’s going to change because your assigned reading is going to double, maybe even triple in the word count. Therefore, you’re going to need to keep your concentration on point. To maintain focus, break the assignment reading into chunks – either split the reading over a couple/few days or take small breaks during your day of reading.
  • Time management: This is key in college, especially when you are juggling a full course load of assignments and projects. Slacking off and procrastinating are not an option! Manage your time accordlying and make sure to stay organized so you don’t feel overwhelmed before starting an assignment and/or project.
  • Communication: It’s time to really learn how to communicate! If you are an introvert, college level classes will push you out of your bubble. Not only will professors require a presentation for at least one of the projects, professors will encourage (or require) you to participate during lectures. If you’re currently in high school, start speaking up and participating. This will help you break out of your bubble and feel comfortable in front of others that you may not know that well or do not know at all.

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Don’t let the transition of becoming a college student overwhelm you! This is a very exciting time in your life and you need to embrace it. Just make sure to prepare in advance, so you’re ready to embark on this thrilling, new chapter in your young adult life.

About :

Hi! My name is Christie, and I’m the social media content intern at ForRent.com. I have lived in Virginia Beach, Virginia for all of my life and I am currently a senior in college. I am a business marketing major at Old Dominion University and I can’t wait to see what the future holds after I graduate! I love spending time with my family and enjoy shopping whenever I can!

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