If you’re planning on attending a college or university for the first time soon, you’re in for an exciting experience. Going away to school is a wonderful way to learn more about yourself, and the topic you most want to pursue in your career. What’s more, a degree helps you capture the attention of potential employers when you’re working on getting the job of your dreams. As a major step in your life, however, can come with worrying too. For many people, it’s the first time they’re branching out on their own, living without the help of family members or parents. At the same time, you’re preparing to take on a host of challenges, from new academic demands to making friends in an unfamiliar place. If you’re preparing to make the transition to college life, here are some tips to help you start off on the right foot.
Learn Essential Skills Early
A lot of students attending for the first time are shocked to learn how much they had help with when they were at home. If you’re still not great at cooking for yourself, and you struggle whenever you have to handle the laundry, now’s the time to build up your repertoire of practical skills. Ask loved ones to teach you how to do the things you don’t feel comfortable with. For instance, you should know how to make a range of meals in different ways, including plenty of rice and pasta dishes – as they’re often quite affordable. You also need to know how to clean different parts of the home, wash your clothes, get stains out, and even sew or fix certain items. Developing other skills, like knowing how to put up a set of shelves, or fix common problems with your car will help you to feel more confident when you branch out on your own.
Develop a Financial Strategy
Finances are often the biggest cause of anxiety for people attending college. It’s difficult to find the cash required not just for your lectures and materials, but for living in a dorm or shared accommodations when you’re learning full-time. Decide now what your strategy is going to look like when it comes to managing money. First, you’ll need to figure out where you’re going to go for student loans and access to larger amounts of cash. For some people, a private lender like Earnest.com will be the most appealing option, allowing them to access the lending solution that works best for their situation.
You’ll also need to consider how you’re going to supplement your loan with additional cash. Have you got savings you can rely on when you’re in college so you can focus on your studies entirely without having to worry about getting a part-time job? Do you need to earn some extra cash on the side? You can even look into things like learning how to budget more effectively before you rush off to start campus life.
Find Ways to Socialize Early
It’s easy to get nervous about going away if you’re the only person you know attending a specific school. If you’re worried about fitting in or finding new friends, a good option could be to find places where you can connect with other students early. Most schools will have open days where new people can come and introduce themselves to each other, as well as various faculty members. There are also various online forums and social media pages where you might be able to meet some potential friends.
Check out your school’s website to see if they have any specific group pages you can join depending on your interests or the topics you’re going to be studying. Look up groups on channels like Facebook and Instagram for extra opportunities to socialize too. These meetups are a great way to cultivate a teamwork strategy within yourself that will serve you long after graduation. Learning how to seek out peers, work with them, and learn as a collective is crucial in the business world. When you do start attending your school, keep an eye and ear open for any mixers and group events you can attend to break the ice with people who are probably feeling just as nervous as you.
Get Ahead with Your Reading
You don’t need to complete all the assigned reading for the year before you even go to a class if you’re attending school, but it’s worth taking a look at the books and materials required for your classes. Getting ahead with your reading will help you to feel more confident and informed when you walk into those initial classes. This should help to reduce any feelings of anxiety you might have.
Flicking through your course books will also help you to pinpoint any areas you feel concerned about, so you can send an email to your lecturer or do some research before you start the class. This way, you’re less likely to be caught off guard if something comes up that you’re not that comfortable with. Getting ahead with your reading will also mean that you can spend slightly less time studying when you first get to your new school. This should mean that you can concentrate more on getting comfortable in your new surroundings.
Make Sure You’re Organized
The organization is often key to a great college experience. Long before you first arrive on campus, you should make sure you have a checklist of all the things you need to arrange to be comfortable in your new course. Do you have your accommodation sorted out, and do you know exactly what you need to do to pick up your keys or pay your rent? What are your expectations regarding travel? Do you have a car that you’re going to be using in between classes, or are you looking into public transport? If you’re going to be using the transport available in your university’s area, you should definitely look into the routes you’re going to need to take to get to essential places.
Don’t be afraid to prepare with a list of people you can contact if anything goes wrong too. Knowing who you can reach out to whenever you’re feeling a little out of your depth can help to make your new life on campus feel a lot less worrying. Getting used to life at university can seem daunting at first, but with a little preparation, you’ll be ready to tackle your education.