You log in to your email account and see an email from the Admissions office of your dream college. You nervously click on the email and start scanning for the words that will fill you with jubilation or despair. You find the sentence and begin to read…

Sound familiar? Many of us have gone through the process of applying to colleges. Most of us who apply get a mixed bag of responses, some acceptances, and some denials.

When you finally make the decision on where you are going to attend school, there are several important things to get lined up and plan for.

Class schedule

Once registration opens you will need to get your class schedule planned. You don’t need to know exactly what you are studying to make a schedule. You can look on your school’s website for an Academic Catalog to help you know what general education classes are required for all students.

If you know what you want to study, get into the beginning courses. If you are still unsure, you can still sign up for introductory level classes. Many subjects have these courses to specifically give an overview of what to expect from the the major and possible careers you could go into having studied that subject.

When planning courses you should keep in mind where they are located. If you have to cross campus to get from one class to another, make sure you have ample time to do so. No one likes sprinting across campus with a full backpack, although it might be required to be a ”real” college student because honestly, we have all done it.

College Housing

Where you live is important to your college experience. College housing plays a huge role in your everyday life.

Check and see what the reviews say about the housing complex you choose to reside at. Reviews can be helpful in a couple of ways.

  1. By reading about other people’s experiences, you can see what the living conditions are like. Does the website accurately depict what the apartment looks like? Do maintenance requests get filled quickly? Do the amenities work? All these things can generally be answered by taking a quick look at reviews.
  2. Reviews also help you understand the reputation and feel of an apartment. Does the place have a stigma for loud, obnoxious residents? Is it a social and inviting atmosphere? These are truly all things that will make a college experience more enjoyable, or really make a semester miserable.

Many times reviews don’t tell the whole story, but they can be helpful in making this important decision.

Routine

This is something that will literally change your college experience. Plan, plan, plan. It will help make your days easier, your assignments doable, and hopefully help keep your stress levels down.

Plan for the day, and the week. You know when your classes are, so then plan for time to work a job, homework, exercise, etc. This will allow you to successfully get everything down that needs to get done and still enjoy the many awesome social perks of college.

If you can master this skill as a young student, it will impact not only your entire college stay but your life and career after school as well.

Finances

Money isn’t fun when you have to pay a ton of it to someone else. But with a little planning, it can be a lot more manageable. Make an expense sheet, so you know what you are up against. Plan for tuition, books and fees, rent, food and living expenses, and travel just as a few ideas.

Once you know how much money you need, start figuring out how to make as much money as you can. Find a job and save as much money as you can before going to school, and if possible work while you are at school. Most schools offer part-time jobs to their students too, so keep your eye out for any good opportunities.

Apply for financial aid, through your school and federal grants. Apply for random scholarships online, there are a surprising amount out there. Just make sure they are legit.

Conclusion

College is important. You will learn a lot, make connections, and hopefully come away from college as an educated individual who is ready for professional work. By planning before you get there, you can make sure you are setting yourself up to succeed and have the best possible experience. College will be great, you got this!

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