University Life Café

The Bookshelf → Tips for College Freshman, Before they Arrive at the Campus

Don’t miss orientation

a. You will miss out on so much valuable information you will wish you knew later. Even if you have a sibling who has already been to campus. This is your turn to start your college years off on the right foot.

b. Orientation is also a good opportunity for you to begin to meet new people.

Meet your roommate(s)

a. Because move in time can be very stressful, get to know your roommate in advance.

b. Talk about the layout of your living space and who will bring what.

c. Get a feel for what your roommate enjoys and what annoys them. This may help tremendously in the future.

Know what to bring to college

a. Often the college will provide some idea of what is provided.

b. The college should also provide you a list of what is not allowed.

c. Have some idea of how much space you have and how you may be able to downsize from your bedroom at home.

Get in shape

a. Now is the time to focus on your healthy lifestyle. If you wait until you are on campus it may be too late.

b. It may be harder to eat right and exercise once you are on campus without someone there to tell you to do it. Start taking responsibility for your healthy behaviors now.

c. Figure out your work-out schedule and how you will still accomplish that once you have classes, activities, friends, and buffet style dinners.

d. Determine where the campus recreation centers are and do not be afraid to go and use them. Bring a friend or a roommate for the first time.

Save your cash

a. While you can live very simply in college, you will find all of the things your parents paid for in the past now cost money.

b. Set a budget and manage it closely. The worst thing you can do is think you will slip through college with your credit card or tons of financial aid. Believe it or not, those both have to be paid back and often with high interest rates.

c. Plan to sit down with your parents and discuss your budget. A financial planner may be helpful during this time as well.

d. Open a special bank account for all of your graduation money. Save it for an emergency stash. You never know when you will need to buy a new tire or have something else come up that you had not expected in your budget.

Forget your car

a. All of the things that were cool about your car in high school may or may not be so cool on campus. Your expensive rims or tinted windows will soon be parked in a lot with thousands of other cars. Don’t forget if you do bring your car to order your parking permit early (usually you can do this online).

b. You often walk on campus. Get yourself a nice pair of rain boots instead of expensive toys for your car. *c. Many students also bike on campus. The good news with this is there is usually room on the rack to put your bike while everyone is circling to find a parking spot. And… biking is free and gives you a workout at the same time.

Start looking into what activities are happening on campus.

a. Make a list of some things you may want to look into getting involved with. Remember your time may be limited with your school work so do get involved but don’t stretch yourself too thin.

b. Contact the presidents of clubs and organizations before you are even on campus to learn more about them. You can usually search for this information off the college main webpage.

Familiarize yourself with the services offered on and off campus.

a. Know where to go for help

b. Know who will be able to answer your questions

c. Contact the career center and make an appointment or attend an orientation at the library

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