How To Prepare For College

Preparing for college may be one of the most difficult tasks because you have no idea what you are getting into. The factor of the unknown is what makes it so exciting, but it can also be scary and stressful.

There is only so much you can do before you let go of control and trust that things will work out. In the meantime, here are some ways you can begin to prepare to the best of your ability:


The summer before college will be the only summer you will have absolutely no obligations academically. You will be caught between two worlds of education, which in many respects are very different.

Although you will want to enjoy the freedom of doing nothing, it would be wise and beneficial for you to keep your mind stimulated in preparation for college. If you are not already in the habit of reading books or keeping up with the news, this would be a good time to make those things routine. It will benefit you in a multitude of ways—make you more aware, expand your vocabulary, etc.

In terms of college academics, there are things you can do to prepare for the year ahead. Once you find out your schedule you can begin to buy textbooks. Make sure to check all your options, like buying from Amazon or renting from Chegg, because often this will be more practical then buying from the campus bookstore.

You may also want to clean up your computer documents, but save ones that might come in handy later. Set goals for yourself. Many people let their grades slip in the beginning of college because they are so overwhelmed with everything else going on. Aim to accomplish your academic goals right off the bat.


The most concrete way you can prepare for college will be physically. Assuming this will be the first time you will be living on your own, you will need a lot of stuff to be equipped for what’s to come.

Dorm room shopping will be essential. You will need to buy bedding, wall decorations, lamps and picture frames to make your room feel homey and put together. You will need organizers and shelves because your dorm will likely be very bare. If you are moving somewhere with a drastic change in climate you may need to buy a whole new wardrobe.

You also should make an attempt to talk to your roommate prior to move-in day. If you live in reasonable distance, you could arrange a day to get lunch somewhere central in order to get to know each other. If not, contact them on FaceBook once you find out their name. This way you can discuss living habits and scope out how the dynamic will be living with them.

In order to get ahead of the game in avoiding the freshmen fifteen, you should develop a fitness goal and practice carrying it out before college starts. This could mean setting aside time to exercise a few times a week, or having a healthy and well-balanced diet.


Going to college can be a scary, exciting and overwhelming thing. In order to succeed once you get there you should be aware of yourself and your own potential.

First you should observe the friendships you have from high school and what you’ve learned from them before you go to college and develop new friendships. Also decide how you will prioritize keeping in touch with your existing friends while you all go your separate ways.

This will be a chance to have a fresh start somewhere new. Once you get there, don’t hold back. Put yourself out there, go on adventures, try new things, be friendly and stay true to yourself. If you have the right mindset and continue to be yourself and do things you love, you will naturally find yourself befriending like-minded people and enjoying yourself.

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Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander

Natalie Alexander is a sophomore at Cal Poly San Luis Obispo pursuing a degree in journalism with a concentration in public relations. In her free time she enjoys traveling, dancing, exploring, swimming, laughing, shopping, napping, writing and spending time with her family and friends.
Natalie Alexander

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