High School Seniors: How to Prepare for College
Congratulations! You’re about to make the jump from high school to higher education. It’s an exciting time of life but one that requires a bit of planning.
Below are some of the most helpful tips on preparing for college the right way. Follow these suggestions for the smoothest possible transition.
Make an Informed Choice
Just because you know you’re going to college next year doesn’t mean you’ve picked which school meetings your needs. Many students find themselves uncertain and considering two or three possibilities. That’s not a problem, but you don’t want to force yourself into a last-minute decision.
Instead, take some proactive steps to pinpoint which college will help you reach your goals:
- Schedule a school visit and interview. Even if you’ve been to campus before, go again if you’re near enough or find out if you can take a virtual tour. While you’re there, see if you can set up an interview. If you can, here’s a tip on how to prepare for a college interview best: Prepare quality questions for the admissions team.
- Check out which majors, minors, and certificates the college offers. Many students wind up switching majors or finding other interests when they go to college. Ensure that the school you choose gives you lots of options in case you want to sample different avenues.
- Review the social scene. Every campus has a unique atmosphere. Do research online and try to get a better idea of the environment at each campus. Be sure to look into available clubs and recreational activities that might appeal to you, too!
Begin Learning About Financial “Stuff”
This life stage is a good time to start getting a better understanding of financial realities. For instance, you may be eligible to take out a low-interest student loan through the federal government. But do you understand the way the loan works or what the terms mean?
When you turn 18, you are legally considered an adult. Consequently, you owe it to yourself to get an education on the basics of finance. Even if you’ve had a part-time job in the past, you may not understand how taxes or social security withholding works. Getting a jump on this as part of your “how to prepare for college” to-dos will get you ahead of the pack in terms of becoming a wise money manager.
Compile a List of What You Plan to Take
If you’ll be living on campus or in an apartment, you’ll need to take necessities. Packing at the last minute can leave you feeling frustrated and disorganized. It can also put you at a serious disadvantage if you forget to bring essential items.
Several weeks before you leave, create a list of things you want to bring. Make certain that you include must-haves like prescription medications. You may even want to visit all your doctors, including the dentist, before heading to campus. Don’t forget to set up one last hair appointment with your favorite stylist or barber, too!
Stay on Top of Deadlines
From submitting information to FAFSA to registering for preferred classes, you’ll have some deadlines to stay on top of. Unfortunately, it can be easy to miss deadlines if you’re not paying attention to them. Therefore, write all of the important timelines down in a centralized calendar.
Remember that you might need others’ help with some documentation. For example, your parents may need to give you information. Don’t wait until the last couple of hours to try to grab everything. Give yourself — and everyone else — ample time to gather paperwork or sign and upload forms.
Hone Your Time Management Capabilities
You’ll be the one in charge of managing your time as a freshman. Spend the months before college figuring out how to go to sleep on time and get up refreshed. The stronger your time management skills you bring to your first campus experiences, the less stress you’re likely to undergo. One good time management tool? The timer app on your phone!
Now You Know What to Do to Prepare for College
Preparing for college can be busy, but it’s also exciting! To learn more about Lackawanna College and get a sense of whether it’s right for you, set up a conversation with an admissions counselor today!