Your first year of college is an exciting time. So exciting that you may forget about important tasks that should be done before the semester starts. Take a breath and take care of these few things prior to your first semester. A little prep will help keep you on track once fall semester is here.
Working over the summer will let you save up some money - money you can use towards school supplies or fun things during the semester (or, you know, tuition). You’ll quickly realize how important it is to have your own money after the school year starts. Though having a few dollars in your pocket might not be a necessity, there will be events that pop up or annoying setbacks that will require some money, so it’s best to have some saved for when they do.
Choose a Major
Choosing a major isn’t as easy as it sounds. Some students know right away what they want to study, and others don’t have a clue – and that’s okay. Having a major in mind before college starts makes the first year easier because you have a goal in mind, but if it takes some experimenting with different classes and hobbies to find your passion, NBD. If you’re starting college undeclared, take the summer to make a list of all the classes, clubs and organizations, and on-campus events you want to try once school starts. If your areas of interest have volunteer opportunities, now is a great time to learn a little more (at no cost)!
Take Care of Housing Arrangements
It’s important to make sure you’ve applied for housing before the semester starts. It may sound like a no brainer, but there are students who wait too long to request on-campus housing and have to find other living arrangements for the year because everyone else got there first.
Apply for Scholarships
It’s free money! College is expensive. Applying for scholarships during the summer could earn you scholarships for the fall, spring, or even both semesters. The less money you have to spend out of your pocket, or borrow and repay later, the better.
If you applied for financial aid, make sure you keep checking in so you’re aware of any changes that may take place. You also want to make sure you’re getting as much as you need (or expected) so you can plan properly if extra money will be needed. Our parent site, Edvisors, covers answers to your financial aid questions in detail. (With the next two to six years before you, you might want to bookmark the site!)
Make a Back to School List
Professors will let you know what textbooks you will need, but when it comes to pens, graph paper, and binders, that’s on you. Make a list of the supplies you expect to need in college. Along with your school supplies, there are other essentials you’ll need, like sheets, hangers, etc. You’ll be surprised by the things you don’t realize you’re missing until you need them (nail clippers, can opener, scissors). Making a list will make it less likely you’ll forget something essential. You’ll thank yourself later!
There’s a lot that goes into preparing for college. Try not to get too worked up and overwhelmed. Once your semester starts, you’ll be focused on all the new experiences, classes, and friends you’ll make. Getting these few things done before school starts will set you up for the rest of the year. Good luck!
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