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Preparing for College

5 Tips on What to Know and Prepare for Before You Go to College


College, if you choose to go, will be a huge turning point in your life. Many people are thrust into the unknown when they start college, and this can make the first semester of college stressful when it doesn't need to be. Here are some things that are good to know and do before starting college:

1. Know your schedule.

Many of us already go through a daily schedule. We get up, eat breakfast, go to school, come home, eat dinner, do homework, go to sleep. College is going to be a bit different, due to different class times. It is important to study when a class is taught, so that before you register, you can figure out what schedule will work for you. Odds are, you won't be able to carry every book you will need in your backpack, so it's good to know if you will have time in between classes to go back to your dorm and change out books. It's also important to make sure you know when you'll be able to eat and study. Spacing out time in between classes is also important due to potential distances between where one class is held and where the next class is held. Keeping a good schedule is also important for finding "you" time. We all need time for ourselves, and being able to take a break for yourself when you need one is key to getting through college. Knowing your schedule is imperative when it comes to starting college.

2. Be prepared to walk (a lot).

Odds are, when you start school in August or September, it's going to be super hot, and walking in the heat will take up a lot of energy. Take water bottles and be sure to take the right type of shoes. Athletic shoes will likely be the best option for your feet. As it gets cooler, be sure to bundle up for the long walks to different classes. Odds are, you won't be able to park at every single class you have, so it's important to realize that walking is going to become a part of your daily life.

3. Know what professors you're going to have.

Some professors are better than others. Your parents have probably told you of a terrible professor that they had in college, or a terrible teacher they had in high school. It'll be no different for your school. Some professors grade easier than others, and some teach better. A good website to use to determine whether a professor is good or bad is Rate My Professors.

4. Rain gear is a necessity.

Let's be honest: usually, when you're in the rain, you aren't in the rain long enough for it to matter. However, if you are walking a considerable distance from class to class, it's important that you have rain boots and a rain jacket and, of course, an umbrella. Another good thing to have is a waterproof backpack, because you don't want to pack your laptop inside your backpack and it get wet due to rain. You also don't want rain to soak through your backpack and end up getting your books wet.

5. You aren't alone.

A lot of times in school, it's easy to feel alone. Sometimes you feel like you're the only person who's ever been stressed over a math final, and maybe you're the only person who really misses your home, or maybe you still don't quite know what to major in. It's important to make new friends in college, especially with your roommates, because you're probably going to spend most of your free time with them. Knowing other people have gone through the same stresses as you are going through is important because you'll be able to see how others got through their struggles.

When entering college, you are going to be subject to a lot of new changes happening in your life. It's important to be prepared for some of these changes so you can focus on the other changes and make real memories, since college is going to probably be where you have the best times of your life!