Now that you are second semester seniors, it ’s a good time to learn more about campus life and what colleges have to offer.
But first, you ’ll need to finish up some loose ends.
The college you select will need a copy of your final transcript. Arrange to have your high school send this after grades are recorded. If you need student or parent loans to help pay for college, apply for the federal loans through your college. Complete all the housing forms to make sure you have a place to live next year – unless you plan to live at home.
Most housing deposits are due May 1 and are nonrefundable, so it ’s helpful to select your college before that date. Complete the housing documents as early as possible so you have a better chance of getting your first choice in residence halls. Complete the roommate survey carefully so the college can match you with someone who shares your habits.
Freshmen orientation is very helpful so plan to attend. You and your parents will attend several presentations and activitites that help you make the adjustment to college. The campus tour will be lead by current college students so be ready to ask them a lot of questions. Your academic advisor will help you select classes for your first semester, but start putting a four-year plan in place. You can buy your books on campus, but you might want to get the ISBN for each book and compare prices online. Be ready and open to meet other incoming freshmen. You ’ll see these same faces when school starts so try to meet as many people as possible.
It might be hard to hold on to your high school friends because you ’ll meet so many new people and share new experiences with them. Getting used to sharing a small space takes some adjustments – which means compromise on your part, too! If you ask college freshman what surprised them the most about college, it would be the volume of required reading. Break up the reading assignments into smaller chunks, and use the time between classes wisely. You ’ll have LOTS of free time – more than you ever imagined. The best students fill that time with scheduled study time, a part-time job, campus activities, and exercise. You may have heard of the freshmen 15 – it ’s common to gain some weight in college because food is available all the time. Just watch your calories and hit the gym. Many students who preforms well in high school are shocked by their first grades in college. The professors have higher expectations so you ’ll need to adjust your study habits.
The college do the best job they can matching students based on the roommate surveys. Some matches work out better than others… Some students request a roommate. This works well for some, and can mean the ean of a friendship for others. Connect with your future roommate over the summer so you won ’t feel like strangers when school starts. You can also discuss who will bring the shared items like a refrigerator, microwave, TV, etc.
To get along with a roommate, you need to set ground rules up front. Discuss your class schedules, the amount of sleep you each need, when guests are welcome in the room, and how clean your each expect the room to be. You both need to be considerate of the other person ’s test schedule, homesickness, and ability to adapt. Keep the lines of communication open so you can keep a good relationship. If all else fails, involve your Resident Advisor in the discussions.
Plan to attend all the Welcome Week activities. It ’s a great way to meet new people, have some fun before classes start, and get acquainted with the campus. The colleges provide fun things for incoming students to do, and they are often lead by upperclassmen. Your hall usually offers fun activities as well.
Spend time before school starts finding your classrooms. You don ’t want to be late for school… Some professors take attendance each day, and others let you decide if you want to attend classes. Take our advice and GO TO CLASS! Follow the class syllabus all semester. You won ’t get reminders of upcoming tests or assignments. Keep a planner for all you classes, tests, assignments, and social activities. It will help leep you on track. Hit the books – and study more than you think is necessary. Better to over-study than to be unprepared for tests. Some students prefer to study in groups. If this is helpful, ask other students in class if they want to meet at regulare times each week.
This tips come from successful college students. The most important thing is to manage your time – but attending class is also vital. Keep ahead of class discussions by reading the chapter in advance, and then reviewing your notes and re-reading the text book. Don ’t get behind. If you need help – ask for it! Most colleges offer tutoring labs and the professors and grad assistants are available during posted office hours. Get focused on selecting a major early in your college career so you can select a major by the end of your sophomore year. This will help you finish school in four years.
The colleges offer many accommodations for students. Check out the shared spaces in the dorms, the student center and the library. All can be nice places to study or for recreation. You ’ll have plenty of places to get food – the cafeteria, on-campus restaurants, and local convenience stores. If you school offers sports – plan to attend some games. It will make you feel like you ’re part of the school.
Check out all the resources offered at your college – and they are all FREE!
Get involved on campus to build your resume, meet other students, fill your free time, and have some fun.
Check out the fun things to do in the surrounding community as well.
You can still have fun on a budget. Seek out the free campus events, participate in the dorm functions, and take advantage of student discounts at local restaurants and other venues.
Make sure you apply for financial aid each year by completing the Renewal FAFSA each spring. Keep looking for scholarships – some colleges offer awards for upperclassmen. Borrow wisely – you have to pay the money back – with interest! Budgets help you know where you spend your money – and where you can afford to stop spending money! Don ’t even think about credit cards – even though you get plenty of offers for them. You don’t need to add to your debt! Finish college in four years so you don ’t pay additional tuition, housing and books.
Transition to College
Making thetransition to COLLEGE How to prepare for college success!
Complete college documents• Admissions – final transcript• Financial Aid – apply for loans, if needed• Housing – complete forms
Make housing arrangements• Deposit usually due May 1• Send housing documents early to secure best housing• Complete roommate survey
Attend freshmen orientation• Participate in presentations and activities• Take a campus tour• Meet your academic advisor• Register for classes• Buy books• Meet other students
Prepare for big changes• New experiences, new friends• Roommate adjustments• Lots of reading• Less structure• Weight gain• Grade shock
Get to know your roommate• Colleges typically match students based on roommate surveys• Some students request a roommate – mixed results• Contact roommate over the summer o get to know him or her o coordinate shared items
Get along with your roommate• Set ground rules o Shared items o Guests o Expectations for cleanliness• Be considerate• Communicate!• Use Resident Advisor as sounding board
Participate in “Welcome Week” Activities• Meet new people• Enjoy activities lead by student leaders• Join in residence hall activities
Prepare for classes• Find classrooms• Meet professors and fellow students• Get class syllabus – follow it all semester• Use a student planner to stay on task• Hit the books• Start a study group
Do these simple things to succeed!• Manage your time• Go to class!• Review your notes and re-read the text book• Seek help with classes as needed• Select a major by the end of your sophomore year
Take advantage of campus accommodations• Residence halls – shared spaces• Food o Cafeteria o Campus restaurants o Campus convenience stores• Gym• Library• Student Center• Athletic venues
Seek out campus resources • Academic Advising • Student Services • Career Center • Counseling Center • Multicultural Center • Tutoring • Business Office / Registrar
Join student activities• Clubs and organizations• Intramural sports• Student government• Fraternities and sororities• On-campus jobs
Check out community events• Intercollegiate sports• Speakers and concerts• Theater, movies, local restaurants
Have fun…without spending lots of money!• Rent movies• Go to free events on campus and at your residence hall• Find food specials for students
Avoid excessive debt• Complete the Renewal FAFSA every year• Keep looking for scholarships• Borrow only what you absolutely need• Create a budget and stick to it• Avoid credit cards• Finish college in four years!