The time has come. You have been preparing for this moment since you can remember. You have done all the work, countless nights of studying for finals. All this work. Just to do it again for 2-8 more years, depending on your goals. You have your admission letter, it has became a reality. You're going to college! 

Applying for college can be a process that can bring on a lot of anxiety for high school senior. The waiting can really keep you up at night. All that waiting just for someone to send you a notification or letter that basically tells you that you are going to making the biggest investment in your life. A letter that is going to tell you that you are now going to be responsible for your life. Time to check your bank accounts and scholarships! All of this, to make your dreams come true with your dream career. 

We all know that going to college is going to have its ups and downs. With college professors, finding friends, dealing with roommates, and finding college love. It can be a rollercoaster. But no one really focuses on what it takes to get ready for college. That is a lot of work in itself. Especially if you are planning on going out of state. That's a whole other post! 

Being that I went to a school an hour away from home my first year of college, I was able to still drive home on the weekends but I did live in a dorm. Which meant I was basically moving into another space and doing more things on my own. Which can lead me to the first tip. Pack Early!! 

 

Pack Early

Learning this the hard way, as well as not having a lot of time, this was the worst for me. Being that I was an early high school graduate, I only had two weeks to just do nothing but pack before starting school in January. Normally you get the whole summer to get things together. But even after getting ready to go back after summer break I learned something. Summer goes by quickly! Between getting things you ran out of or need extras, packing can take a lot of time. Especially if you are not organized. 

Writing a list or going on pinterest to look at college packing lists can help you understand what you need to bring. It can also help you decide on what products you need to bring multiples of! 

 

Meet with your Advisor 

This is a big one that I wished I would have known before going into my first semester. I am sure it would have saved me a ton! Most of the time you will be able to see them doing orientation in the fall. Since I starting in the spring, it was a bit different for me. But meeting with your advisor before classes start, or even before you schedule your classes can make a big difference for incoming students. 

By second semester, I met with my advisor at the first week of school, half way to midterms, at midterms, and two more meetings after that. By doing this, it helped me stay on track and also made me know what was expected of me and also look into different opportunities that they had on campus. It also helped when it came to finding resources that could help me when it came to studying. As well as picking classes for next year too! 

 

Set Rules with your Roommate

This one cannot be stressed enough. ALWAYS set ground rules with whomever you live with! Even if they're your best friends, because without them, things can get a bit sticky. Luckily for my school, at the beginning of the year, we are all asked to sign a contract of rules that we can agree on. If one of us doesn't stick with those rules, we are able to go to our RA (residential assistance) to discuss it. If they keep being dishonored then we are able to get other rooms. The system worked great. 

Because of good communication between my last roommate and I, we were able to live together without getting on each others nerves too much. It was a nice space to be in. I know that some of you may think since you are rooming with your best friend you won't have to say anything, but that is not the way to go. You're going to college! Things are going to change for both of you. It's always best to start off with good communication! 

 

Know your Resources

As we all know college won't be just about meeting other people and partying all the time. For some it will be, but their outcome won't be as great. During college you are going to be investing majority of your time trying to succeed in order to do great in your career and to take the next step. For me, that's going to be eventually medical school. That requires a lot of dedication! 

Taking classes, there will be times where things are going to be a bit rough when it comes to understanding a topic. That's why it's important to know your study tools ahead of time that way you will be prepared for those hard classes. Going to study groups, teacher assistant sessions, getting a tutor. These are all things that can help you succeed in school. Don't hesitate to use them. I'm positive that you aren't the only person in the class that is struggling. 

 

Get Involved

Although I said previously that it is important to take classes seriously to go forward, it is also important to have fun during this time in your life too! Being one of those students that took 21 hours one semester, I can surely tell you that without an outlet things can get pretty ugly. Thank God for my friends and the small activities I was into during that time! I wouldn't have made it without them! 

Getting involved, rather it being a sorority/fraternity, a club pertaining to your major, game clubs, sports, or anything, it's always a good idea. Make sure you have enough time to manage it, but it's really important to take time to have fun once in a while. For example, every Saturday night my friends and I would go to what's called "Late Nite". There would be games, bowling, a DJ, food, and some other big activity. Either being roller skating, ice skating, a maze, foam party. It was always fun, so we always went to let some steam off. If we knew we didn't have any tests to take, we sometimes would even go to movie night and maybe go out to dinner. 

The point is, it's always something to do. But you have to be responsible in choosing what to do in your time at college. You have to learn how to juggle being on your own, handling classes, and picking the right crowd to hang out with. College is never going to be easy, but it will be the most memorable time in your life. You meet people that will be in your life forever. You also meet people who you never want to see again. It's all apart of growing up! Enjoy it and do your best! 

Welcome to College!

Published by Andrea Othela