It’s time to move to college! Whether you’re only moving ten miles away from home or three thousand miles away, you will feel the change nonetheless. It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the excitement of going to college and therefore overlook some crucial aspects that should be taken care of beforehand.
There is a long list of things the school will ask you to complete before coming to campus (i.e. registering for classes, getting a room, signing up for orientation, choosing a meal plan). While all those things are important, there are several other tasks that you should accomplish before making the big move to college.
Since I haven’t yet moved to college myself, I have collected some tips from close friends who’ve experienced the move themselves.
1. Find a great roommate. Remember, the first priority in finding a roommate is to find someone compatible for a living arrangement, the second priority is to find a friend. A very close acquaintance of mine lost one of her closest friends as well as a roommate due to an argument about food in the room. So instead of browsing your class page hoping to find your best friend who will eventually become your roommate, try to find a perfect roommate who could possibly become your next best friend. You will get every opportunity to get to know people in college, and rooming with them is only one way to do so.
2. Get insider tips. Get in touch with a student already attending the university. I found this tip exceptionally helpful. While getting questions answered at orientation is great, the real answers come from the random students you will come across. I managed to get in touch with two current freshman girls, through facebook, who answered so many of my questions and gave me some amazing advice. They told me which elective classes I should take, who to talk to if I wanted to switch majors, the best dining halls to eat in, and which professors to avoid.
3. Don’t shop too early. Avoid buying things for your dorm room before you get to campus. A lot of students get really excited about having the ability to decorate a new bedroom and like to get a head-start; don’t do it! I know it’s tempting to pick a color scheme and purchase half of Target as soon as you’ve picked a theme, but the trouble it’ll take to get everything to your college is not worth the hassle. Wait until you’ve seen your dorm, know what you’re missing (such as a microwave or a mini-fridge), and then plan out your decor. Also, unless you’ve pre-coordinated with your roommate, you might wind up with half an orange room and half a teal room. There will most likely be a big store to get all you need for your room near your university, so don’t panic and purchase anything unnecessary prematurely.
4. Plan your visits home early. This last tip is mostly for students living more than a car-ride away from home. It’s often cheaper to buy plane tickets a couple of months in advance, so if you know you’re going to be home for Thanksgiving or Christmas, buy the plane tickets in the summer. A dollar saved is a dollar earned and there is no need to rush and get an overpriced last minute ticket during the holiday season, when those tickets are much more reasonably priced now.
Moving to college is one of the most exciting things you’ll ever do. Whatever happens, don’t forget to enjoy the experience!
This is a guest post by Noa Livneh, a high school graduate in the San Francisco Bay Area.