3 Ways to Prepare for Your First Year of College
18 May, 2021
Going off to college is a big life change, and one that can be very overwhelming. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can make the transition easier for yourself, and we’ve complied some of them for you right here.
Sort Out Your Finances
If you’re like most people, this is the first time in your life when you’re going to be living independently and supporting yourself financially, and that can be very daunting. There are important aspects to think about, such as living costs, rent, tuition fees, etc. There are several ways to prepare for this before the time comes. There are graduate student loans available from private lenders, and you might want to consider taking one out to pay for your tuition and living costs. Even if you do get a loan, consider if that will be enough for you to live on. If not, have a think about whether you need to take on a part-time job alongside your studies. It might also be really helpful to spend the months you have left before college working and saving up some money, which you can use for your own spending or for any unexpected expenses. Lastly, learning to budget will definitely be something you’ll thank your past self for.
The workload at college is probably going to be a lot bigger than what you’re used to, and preparing for it might help ease the shock. Spend a lot of time reading to get yourself used to it; it’s a lot of what you’ll be doing from now on. It’s good for developing your reading comprehension, time management and self-discipline, and most importantly, it will get you used to doing something, making the contrast between a carefree summer and a busy college schedule less daunting. Reading non-fiction, specifically on the subjects you’re going to be studying, would be useful to help you prepare for the semester ahead, and if you can get your hands on a reading list, even better.
Research Your College
This last piece of advice may seem a bit vague, because there are a lot of different things you might want to consider looking up depending on your situation. This might include looking at the different majors offered by your college, if you haven’t yet made up your mind, and start considering what road you want to go down. You don’t have to make the decision yet, but having it in the back of your mind is good for the future. Similarly, if you’re worried about the non-academic side of things or feeling a bit socially anxious, you might want to research the different clubs and societies on campus.
Have a look at what you’re interested in joining and the hobbies you might want to pursue as it’ll help you find a social group, and having a new pastime to look forward to can be beneficial for coping with the transition. Lastly, make sure you know where to go to for help at your college, how you do get in touch with advisors, what’s the mental health support available, how can you get help with your finances or your coursework? These are all great things to know ahead of time.