As the first day of college draws nearer, here are a few tips to prepare.
This tip is probably the easiest to embrace because for most colleges orientation is mandatory. However, this can be a pivotal couple of days. You get to know the campus, other students, and the classes you will be taking. You can even print a map of campus after orientation and highlight where your freshman year classes are after orientation to make the transition smoother.
For most colleges, class registration happens during orientation, and because you will be new to the campus you won’t know the reputations of your prospective classes or professors. For this reason, the website “ratemyprofessors.com” can be extremely useful. This website is a platform that other students can use to write reviews on professors they have at almost every university in the country. Before you finalize your schedule you might want to check it out!
Make a list of future expenses
Creating a spreadsheet of your budget next year will prevent you from arbitrarily spending money as soon as you get it. Being aware of what you NEED versus what you want will make the future more manageable in terms of how much you can save. If you’re going to have a job put down your monthly income, you also need to take into account whether or not your parents are giving you an allowance or any other income you may be getting on a monthly basis. Then, make another column for monthly expenses. Divide your tuition by 12, as well as food, prescriptions, haircuts, gas, insurance, phone bills, and whatever other personal expenses you will be responsible for. College is a major investment, and it’s important to know how it’s going to be taken care of. Have a conversation with your parents about each other’s financial expectations of each other. There are a lot of online resources that can help you get started making a spreadsheet; Excel even has a template tailored to college expenses. Keeping your expenses on a monthly timeline allows you to see how much of each paycheck needs to go where, and forces you to review your goals more frequently than if you were to do this on a yearly basis.
Research organizations you might want to be part of
If you are a little nervous about starting college, this is the perfect thing for you to do. Most college campuses have an array of organizations and clubs for students to join that reflect the niches student population. Clubs and organizations give you a group of people who share a common interest with you. Meaning you’ve made friends! This is why getting involved in your school can help to ease those nerves.
Set up a game plan
What do you want to do after college? Even if you don’t know the title you want to have, try to imagine a few of the characteristics your ideal job would have. Think of the quantifiable milestones that will get you there. What is your optimal GPA? What classes will be most useful? Write out your goals for each year of college so that that ideal job becomes a realistic possibility with steps to achieve it. When you have a plan, it becomes difficult to lose sight of your purpose for being in college. Doing this before you even take a seat in your first college class allows you to hit the ground running.
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