College is an experience unlike any other. You will learn and grow more than you can imagine—academically, professionally, emotionally, and spiritually. While you can’t prepare yourself for every situation, there are a few things you can do to make the transition to college easier:
1. Earn some cash
Between late-night snack runs and coffee dates, it’s easy to spend money in college. Consider working a part-time job or a paid internship during the summer in order to stockpile some cash for your expenses.
2. Buy your textbooks online
It’s often cheaper to buy books online than it is to buy them at your campus bookstore. Check out websites like chegg.com, bigwords.com, or ebay.com to save money on textbooks. As many textbooks in the campus bookstore are sold on a “first come, first served” basis, buying them online ensures that you’ll be ready with all of your books during the first week of class.
3. Clean up your social media accounts
If you’re on social media, chances are that your college community is too. If you decide that you want to work in college, update your information on professional sites such as LinkedIn, and make sure that your social media accounts are professional and appropriate. You never know when a future employer may decide you search you online. Since students use social media to find each other, consider getting rid of unflattering photos and decluttering your page.
4. Make a doctor’s appointment
Many colleges require medical forms and certain vaccinations and tests, such as meningitis shots and tuberculosis tests. Make sure you’re healthy and well before you go away for college. If you have any health concerns, discuss them with your doctor and make sure you have the proper medication that you need.
5. Connect with your roommate
If you know who your roommate is, send her an email or Facebook message. Get to know the person that you’ll be living with for the next year and figure out which belongings you’ll need to bring (mini-fridge, TV, rug, etc.).
6. Create or update your resume
If you don’t have a resume already, create one! Keep track of your high school activities and accomplishments and have it ready to add to it as you get more involved in college.
7. Clean out your closet
Going to a college is a great time to clean and organize all of your stuff. Figure out what you want to bring to college and what you want to donate or throw away. You may discover that you need some professional clothes, a pair of snow boots, or some jeans that actually fit you.
8. Read every day
Whether it’s the newspaper, an online article, or your Bible, keep your mind active and engaged by reading and keeping up with current events.
9. Learn life skills
Before you leave for college, make sure that you know how to do laundry, budget, and cook a few simple meals. Don’t be that kid who turns all of his clothes pink by mistake!
10. Reconfigure your sleep schedule
Maybe you have serious jet lag from your mission trip to India. Maybe you’re a night owl who loves staying up late. While summer is for staying up late and waking up even later, you will want to get your sleep schedule back on track for college. Before the semester starts, get into the habit of waking up early enough to eat breakfast and make it to class on time.
Going to college is an exciting time of change and transition! You’ll learn new things and get so many new experiences. Follow these 10 suggestions, and you’ll be better prepared to make the most of it.