Getting yourself ready for college can be likened to preparing oneself for adulthood. You will be on your own completely and there is no one who can give you an exact formula that you can use in order to succeed. There are no hard and fast rules. And while you are in school, studying would be like a job wherein the amount of reward that you will reap will be entirely dependent on your efforts. Nevertheless, there are certain things that you can employ to make things a little bit easier for you. So if you want your transition from being a high school student to a college student smoother, here are a couple of suggestions on how to prepare for college.
10. Know your future career
Before thinking about the college or university that you want to enter, you must first be certain as to the career that you want to pursue. You do not want to waste years studying a particular field only to end up shifting to a different course after realizing what you really want. Think whether you can see yourself doing the career that you have chosen years from now. If not, then you better look for other alternatives and weigh each of your choices considerably. To help you out, you can ask your counselor to determine the field in which you would most likely succeed, taking into consideration your skills as well as your interests.
9. Do well in your PSAT/ACT/SAT exams
If you plan on applying to prestigious and elite colleges, it might be best if you prepare early for the PSAT/ACT/SAT tests. These exams are usually given during junior or senior high so you will have a lot of time to get ready. Know that certain universities require that you have earned a higher than average score before your application can be considered. There are also times when the required score is dependent on the degree or program you will take.
8. Research on college degree requirements
By the time you have reached your senior year, you must already have a clear idea as to the career that you want for yourself. With this in mind, do a research on the particular requirements that colleges or universities usually ask in relation to said career field. There are also instances that schools would require that you finish a specific set of standard subjects such as math, literature, science and history.
7. Visit college campuses
One thing that you should not miss doing before applying to a college is to visit the campuses of your top choices. Visiting campuses can effectively lower down your choices as to the schools you would eventually submit your application. If the place does not appeal to you, then why bother applying, right? Doing this could also help you determine whether the school has an environment that is conducive to learning. While you are it, try to learn about the specifics as to the admission process, tuition and other fees required to be paid, housing placements, availability of parking areas, etc. You might want to check out the surrounding vicinity as well to ensure your safety.
6. Start applying to the colleges you have chosen
Take note that several universities have a deadline as to the submission of applications. You need to take note of this information while visiting the campuses of your chosen colleges. In completing the application requirements, try to make extra copies so as to avoid getting stressed in case some of them get misplaced. Also, exert extra effort when the application requires that you submit an essay. Prove on paper why it would be beneficial to them to accept your application and make you part of their student body.
5. Apply for scholarships or financial aid
If you think that you are going to have a problem covering your finances during the semester, you might want to consider applying for a scholarship. This is a better option than applying for financial aid because it would amount to studying for free. Only when you do not qualify for the scholarship should you try applying for the latter option. Submit the application for this purpose as early as you can so in case the aid would not cover much of your tuition, you can still have time to look for ways to cover the remaining expenses.
4. Reserve a room as soon as possible
There is no need to do this if you live near the campus. But for those who reside considerably far from the college area, this is a must. There are several instances when people end up with a not-so-good roommate simply because they waited until the last day to make a reservation. Also, reserving a room early gives you are higher chance to get a good room or find a replacement in case what you have been given does not suit you.
3. Do early shopping for school supplies
At the start of the semester, expect that there would be a shortage as to the common supplies needed for school. So, to get good materials, it is best to do your shopping for school supplies as early as possible. This is also true for household items that you would need in your dormitory or if you are planning on buying your required reading materials online. Note that you are not the only one scavenging for low priced books so be alert as much as you can.
2. Get in contact with your roommate
Most of the schools inform their students in advance as to their roommates. Take advantage of this information and contact yours so as to get pass the awkward phase of meeting your roommate for the first time. Try to know each other’s likes and dislikes as well as habit. This way, you can already think of ways on how to adjust. In case there are things you are not willing to compromise, you can quickly remedy this by asking for another room.
1. Visit the campus one day before moving in or before the first day of class
This is essential so as not to find yourself in a lot of stress during your move-in day. Know where your dorm is located and get a look at your room. This way, you can determine if the stuffs you are planning to bring are just enough or are too much for the limited space of your room. For those who will not be living in dormitories, it is also advisable that they visit the school the day before the class starts so as to familiarize themselves as to the building and rooms where their class will be held. This is to avoid being late on the first day of class.