Guest Post By: Iris Yuan You've taken all the tests, accepted your college admissions decision, and received your high school diploma. Now what? The summer between high school and college is a nostalgic one, and by all means, you deserve to enjoy these last few months after getting through high school. But if you’re the first kid off to college and your family doesn’t know what to expect, it’s useful to know some tips about college life, budgeting, and more. Below are 8 tips on how you and your parents should prepare, and what to expect about transitioning to your new home in the fall.
1. Look up past syllabi for your classes. Chances are, you’re already enrolled or have looked into classes to take in the fall. Most professors have past years’ websites or syllabi archived. Reading the course syllabi as detailed by the professor, instead of the short description provided by college administration, can often give you a more specific picture of what the course is really about. You can usually find them as PDF files online.
2. Order dorm furniture, textbooks, and other supplies for discounted prices online. Take advantage of college student discounts from popular electronics and textbook providers. By August, you should have a rough list of things you should buy…
3. … But don’t buy, or bring, too many things with you. Moving is a pain, especially if college is a flight or a coast away. You might be tempted to take your whole room with you, but this can be impractical, especially if you have more than one roommate and space is tight.
4. Look up freshman programs ahead of time so you don’t miss out. Whether it be clubs, Greek life, or research, many on-campus opportunities recruit at the beginning of the school year. For academic programs, there could also be fall deadlines. Get updated through Facebook pages or email listservs.
5. Don’t worry about not making friends in college. Be friendly, make an effort, and be open-minded about the different attitudes and backgrounds of your new roommates, floormates, and classmates. Join clubs to find people who share your interests. Be active. You never know where on campus you’ll find your closest friends.
(Also, be prepared to watch a lot more YouTube videos.)
6. Don’t be afraid to get lost, literally and metaphorically. College is for exploration, and you often can’t determine what piques your interests if you don’t take (safe) risks. You’ll learn much more being outside your comfort zone. You can also use your free time now to take up a new hobby – try a
7. Be prepared to handle peer pressure on a new level. Underage drinking, drugs, partying… don’t do anything you aren’t comfortable with, especially if an elitist Greek system is involved. It’ll serve better in the long run to have good friends who understand your boundaries, rather than streams of drunken acquaintances whose names you can’t remember.
8. Lastly, spend as much time with your family as you can. Even if you are thirty minutes away or right around the corner, you’ll be on your own in terms of your day-to-day schedule, the friends you choose, and the activities or clubs you join. You’ll be surprised how much you’ll appreciate being home after you’ve left the nest.
Bio: Iris Yuan is an Education Consultant at Tutorspree.com, a site that works nationwide to rebuild tutoring and spotlight educational solutions. Feel free to reach Iris at [email protected] and visit @Tutorspree on Twitter.