Getting into college is a really amazing feeling. You've spent so much time on your essays and checked over your application with so much care, that when you finally get that acceptance it all feels worth it. But so many students focus solely on the “getting into college” part, and tend to forget about the “going to college” part.
I remember internally panicking about how my note-taking should change for harder coursework and registering for classes at the first opportunity. There’s a lot to think about after you’ve received the acceptance letter, but focusing on the following key points will make this daunting task seem more manageable.
Once you’ve gotten your acceptances, focus on picking the right school for the right reasons
Picking the perfect school for you can be challenging, and a lot of students feel they could be a good fit at for several colleges. When evaluating different schools, think about the importance of each of these factors.
- Campus: visit the campus to make sure you like the size and community around it because you’ll be living there for 4 years.
- Academics: pick a school that not only has your major, but other majors you’re interested in, in case you change your mind. For students interested in pursuing a career in academia or research, look into the kinds of research being done at the school to see if there are professors that align with your interests.
- Finances: pay attention to the financial aid and scholarships to make sure you’re picking a school that you and your family can afford.
- Miscellaneous: whether it’s a top football team, a thriving outdoors club, or the multicultural societies that are on offer, individual interests are important to keep in mind when evaluating schools.
Keep these factors in mind, and I’m sure you’ll make the right choice! You can also read more about other factors that come in to play when deciding where to go here.
Keep up with all of the emails from your chosen school and act on them ASAP
Once you’ve chosen a school and are registered to attend, the school will send you lots of emails about how to get started and get ready for the upcoming school year. It's important that you keep up with these emails and complete tasks as soon as you can. Usually you’ll have to submit health forms, register for classes, receive your dorm assignment, and you might even have a summer “homework” assignment to get ready for orientation. Keeping up with these tasks will make your transition to college that much easier.
Keep an open mind and get ready for new opportunities
College is a time to join new clubs, try new experiences, and meet people from backgrounds you may have never been exposed to before. Keeping an open mind and trying things that are out of your comfort zone are a big part of the college experience. Every student should take advantage of all the wonderful programs their college has to offer including extracurricular activity fairs, Greek life events and orientation week. But there is some prep work you can do before taking part in these programs:
- Look through the list of clubs at your university.
- Connect with current students to find out what they’ve enjoyed the most.
- Visit the campus and sit in the main quad to see what everyone does in between classes.
- Make new friends with your fellow incoming classmates through Facebook groups and other social media channels.
The more information you have before starting college, the less overwhelming it will be when you get there.
College is an exciting time in anyone’s life, so why not make the most of it! Now that you’re in, take a deep breath, and get ready for the life-changing experience that is college.