This is a guest post written by Samantha, the founder of AsLifeGrows.com, where she teaches students everything they need to know to have a successful college experience. Through her posts, weekly newsletter, and ecourses, she has helped thousands of students become more successful in college. During the past few years, she has been able to earn a 3.8 GPA, have a great college career, and even get into physical therapy graduate programs (all without getting grey hairs!) Now, she is here to teach you how you can reach your own level of success! We encourage you to learn more about AsLifeGrows.com and check out the original post!
The transition from high school to college can be so overwhelming! Luckily, there are a few things that you can do to prepare! Here are nine things I think every freshman needs to know before starting college!
1. HOW TO PREPARE FOR COLLEGE IN HIGH SCHOOL
When you are in high school, preparing to enter college can be a little (or a lot) overwhelming. I mean, how are you supposed to know what college is really like? You’ve never been there! A few simple things that you can do now to make preparing for college a little less stressful are to take your high school classes seriously, don’t procrastinate taking the ACT, talk to current college students, and schedule a campus visit. Want a more detailed list of things you should be doing? Check out my full post on how to prepare for college in high school here!
2. HOW TO CHOOSE WHICH COLLEGE IS RIGHT FOR YOU
Are you ready to start applying to colleges but have no clue where to start? Don’t worry, this is totally normal! Right now, the best thing you can do is to talk to your parents and start researching! Make a list of all of the colleges you want to apply to, the size of the campus, distance from your home, tuition cost, availability of your desired major, and if you can see yourself there! I also wrote a much more detailed post with a bonus chart to help you through this step. You can check out the full post here!
3. HOW TO FIND COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIPS
Once you have figured out which college is right for you, it’s time to start searching for scholarships because college is NOT cheap! The best way that I have found to do this is to write down things that make you unique, learn how much each scholarship is worth, make a note of scholarships offered only to your college, start googling “college scholarships for each of your unique qualities, and apply for as many scholarships as you can. Scholarships can be a lot of work so make sure that you don’t get overwhelmed. Need more detail on this topic? You can find that (and a bonus cheatsheet) here!
4. HOW TO TACKLE MOVE IN DAY LIKE A PRO
Move in day can really be a pain. Every year I think I take more and more stuff to school with me. Luckily for you, bed bath and beyond has created a really easy, simple checklist to help students make sure they have everything that they need. Every year I pull this thing up because it is my favorite move in day checklist. You can grab that right here. My move in day tips for you are to pack up your car as much as you can. Fold up seats if you have to. Leave things that you don’t use often at home because you can always pick them up on a weekend. And don’t forget to bring shower curtain and plenty of command trips!
5. WHAT THE FIRST WEEK OF FRESHMAN YEAR REALLY FEELS LIKE
Okay, so, to be honest, the first week of college is exhausting. Yes, you are excited for your first year of college, but you are also nervous and don’t really know anyone. You have to pack and unpack in the course of a weekend and often students have to complete freshman orientation, which is usually scheduled during the hottest weekend of the summer. However, these first few days are a great time to make friends. Seriously, going through crazy orientation rituals is kind of a bonding experience! If your college does a freshman orientation, make sure you participate. You might not stay friends for the rest of your time at college, but it is always nice to know a few people in each of your first classes. Don’t worry, you will start making friends soon!
6. HOW TO HANDLE LIVING WITH A ROOMMATE
If you are an only child like me, having a roommate can be a little bit of a new experience. You have to learn each others likes and dislikes, figure out each others schedules, and generally be nice to each other. In all honesty, none of these are hard if you and your roommate are respectful of each other and their space. Many times, roommates even become inseparable! Want a few more roommate tips? Check out my full post on how to handle living with a roommate here!
7. HOW TO ACE YOUR FIRST SEMESTER OF COLLEGE CLASSES
Now that you are semi-settled into college, it’s time for those first college classes, quizzes, and tests to start rolling in! Studying in college is quite a bit different than high school. Much more reading is required, textbooks are more difficult to understand, lectures are longer, and classes are harder. However, it is still possible to do really well in college! All you need are a few studying and productivity tips! Some of my favorite studying tips are to use online tools such as Khan Academy, Grammarly, and Quizlet. Want more studying tips? I have tons of posts on this topic, but my favorite is this one!
8. HOW TO AVOID THE FRESHMAN 15
I am sure that you have already heard of the much dreaded freshman fifteen by now, but did you know that it can be avoided? It sure can! You just have to remember to eat healthy in the cafeteria and stay active. I know how easy it can be to stress eat during a difficult week, but we have to remember to take care of our bodies. Also, dorm rooms can get super stuffy so make sure you stick to a fun workout schedule that you enjoy! You can learn how I actually lost weight in college here!
9. HOW TO CREATE A PLAN TO GRADUATE ON TIME
Once you are fully integrated into your first year of college, it’s time to create a plan to help you graduate on time. This means you need to meet up with your advisor and discuss your future career. Make sure that you have looked online and are aware of the classes that you need to take. Find out when these classes are offered and begin working on your plan. You advisor will really be able to help you through this process. It is also important to remember to try not to drop a class unless it is absolutely necessary. Dropping classes forces you to have to take summer classes to catch up or it could even force you to take an extra semester or year of college.