Things to do to Prepare for College

So you’ve just been accepted to university! Congratulations! This experience promises to be an exciting time in your life. It’s much better than high school.

However, that admission letter isn’t like the Golden Ticket from Willy Wonka & The Chocolate Factory. You’re not guaranteed to get in just by receiving it. You’ll actually have to put in some work to make sure you get a seat in a lecture hall in August or September. While your school will walk you through some of the process, there are a few things to do to prepare for college when you’re getting ready to start higher education.

  • Send your school the required documents

This is not the first thing you should be doing, but this is the first one on the list because it would be completely terrible if you didn’t get to attend the school of your dreams due to some horrendous technicality. When you’ve been accepted, you may have to sign a statement saying that you intend to register. Afterwards your school will ask you for additional information, and you should make it your priority to get them that information as fast as possible.

For example, when I transferred to UC Davis from community college, one of the things to do to prepare for college was to send them my high school transcript, my community college transcript, my proof of residence and my social security information. You should have these documents readily available to make copies.

  • Establish your financial aid situation

This is one of the first things to do to prepare for college, because it can affect which college you attend. You should be aware of your financial situation before you apply to colleges, so you can use this time to begin researching and applying for financial aid. You might also want to investigate student loans at this time if you feel like you must

If you’ve been accepted to multiple colleges, you can use your financial situation to narrow down your choices. My roommate was accepted to several schools but chose UC Davis because they offered him the most generous financial aid.

  • Establish your living situation

You should consider this at the same time you consider the financial impact of attending university. Unlike high school, you may have to move to attend university. For the most part, you’ll probably end up living in a residence hall, so you should learn about your school’s dorm program and apply to become a resident.

However, it may be more financially viable to consider an alternative situation to the residence halls. My friend’s girlfriend grew up 20 miles away from UC Davis, so she spent her freshman year commuting from her home to campus. A few other friends moved in with relatives in order to attend school. These options worked perfectly for them and they saved a few thousand dollars in the process. At any rate, you need to consider where you’ll live.

  • Attend orientation

Most schools should hold an orientation session that will introduce you to the campus. While attendance will most likely be mandatory anyway, you must go. These sessions will tell you about the school and teach you where things are located. In addition, they will tell you about anything else you need to do before you can start class.

For the first time, you’ll get to spend a few days on your future campus. You’ll learn about how to do all the things to do to prepare for college like registering for classes or buy books. You’ll also get to meet some of your peers and possibly join a club or a fraternity. It’s a very valuable and fun way to familiarize yourself with campus; it will also reduce stress and uncertainty.

There are other steps besides this – such as saying goodbye to your friends and getting your stuff together to move out – but they won’t prevent you from attending class. These are the main things to do to prepare for college and I’m confident that you can do so. Good luck and have fun!

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John Kesler

John Kesler

John Kesler is a senior studying communication at the University of California, Davis. If he is on campus, he can be found in the basement offices of the newspaper or the radio station. At home, he enjoys listening to whatever music he can, reading whatever books he can, and taking walks wherever he can.
John Kesler

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