Plan For College

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

How to Get Ready for Freshman Year of College

We're into August: the last month of summer and the first month of college for many of you soon-to-be freshmen. For many, making the transition from high school to college will be your biggest life change thus far. Today, the Plan For College team wants to make that transition a bit easier by helping you get ready for your freshman year of college.

Be Socially Ready for College
Never underestimate the social element of your freshman year of college. Within the first few weeks, you will be meeting new people and friends, going to different social events, and you will be away from home. Here are some good ways to prepare yourself for freshman year socially: (1) get in touch with your roommate(s), (2) find out what furnishings you need to buy (3) look into clubs you want to join, (4) go to orientation, (5) update your Facebook page by joining the college network (6) try something new!

More resources for college social life

Be Academically Ready for College
Many of you will be attending orientation this month. This is an important step towards being academically prepared for your freshman year because you might choose your first semester courses there. Here are some things to consider when preparing academically: When do you register for classes? Do you have AP credits? What requirements do you need to fill? What type of schedule works best for you? Will you be working towards pre-requisites for a major? What textbooks do you need to buy?

More resources for college academics

Be Financially Ready for College
There are two ways to look at this type of preparation: paying for college and paying for the things you buy in college. First, make sure that you are in agreement with your parents about who will be paying for what (tuition, room and board, etc.). Next, you'll need to make sure your financial aid is in order as well as scholarships you may have received. 

You also need to get your personal finances in order. Make sure your bank accounts are set up (tip: find out what ATMs are on campus and set up an account with that bank). You may also want to set a budget for yourself so that you do not spend more than you can handle. 

More resources for college finances

Be Athletically Ready for College
Whether you will be playing a sport or not, athletics and exercise may become a big part of your college days. Attending athletic events are a big part of many colleges' social scenes. Look into your college's athletic teams to find what teams you may want to follow. 

Also, exercise is a major part of life in college. Start figuring out how you want to stay in shape - what type of exercise will you do? What intramural sports will you play? 

More resources for athletes

So it is time to get ready for freshman year. It is exciting and scary at the same time, but if you are prepared, freshman year will be a great time for you or your child!


  1. And let's not lose sight of the fact that college is primarily about learning and growing as a person, increasing your knowledge and skills, and ultimately earning a degree. So also think about being disciplined about attending class and studying, and taking advantage of the myriad opportunities available at most campuses to enhance your scholastic experience.


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