Posts Tagged ‘things to do before leaving for college’

Four Things to Do Before You Head to College

Whether you’re graduating high school with plans to attend a local community college, or you’re leaving for the other side of the country, graduating from high school and beginning a new life as a college student is a major transition. It’s an exciting time, with many changes about to take place!But, before you dive into a whole new world, check out these four things you should do before you walk across the stage and receive your high school diploma.

Smooth Your Surfaces: Maybe you haven’t always been nice to everybody at school. Perhaps you have an ex you haven’t spoken to all year because things got weird, or you maybe you have a sibling you haven’t seen eye-to-eye with since elementary school. While there’s undoubtedly things you’re eager to leave behind, it does wonders for you and others emotionally to take this chance before you leave to make things right, so you can embark on your journey with a clean slate.

Define Relationships: Transitions can be tough on any relationship. Perhaps you’re leaving for college, but your significant other is still in high school. Maybe you’re planning on attending two different colleges. Before things get sticky, talk about your relationship. Will you maintain the relationship? Will you continue to be exclusive, or do you plan to see other people? It’s better to figure it out now than be surprised and hurt and heartbroken by a difference in perspective later.

Preserve Bridges: Identify the people at your school and community who have influenced you and could potentially assist you in your future. Your English teacher who wrote your letter of recommendation may someday request you sub for her class. Your friend’s dad who got you a summer internship may be the gateway to your first entry level job. Get the email addresses of these people. Send them holiday cards and updates on your life. By maintaining these relationships now, you’ll be helping yourself later.

Decide What to Bring, and What to Let Go: College is often seen as a fresh start. Even if you attend a local college with a chunk of your high school classmates, most people won’t know who you are, what you did, what you’re like, or what you’ve been called. Before you step into a new world where you’ll have to make yourself all over again, decide what’s worth bringing and what’s worth leaving. Bring your personal philosophies, your best qualities, your funny stories, and your dreams. Leave behind your awkward moments, your bad relationships, and your failed tests, because who you were won’t matter, but who you are does.

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5 Unsentimental Things to Do Before Leaving for College

flagAt some point before you graduate high school, you will inevitably run into–whether on Facebook Chat or at the farmer’s market–an older friend who’s home from college.  That person will congratulate you on graduating, get you excited for college, and then proceed to give you a list of things you just have to do before heading off to college.

That list might include making a scrapbook of you and your BFF’s, ditching a class for “Senior Ditch Day” or scribing your initials into a bathroom stall to leave your “legacy”–whatever you need to do to feel emotionally prepared to leave your home and friends for a new place.

But there are also some things you’ll need to do logistically before you head off to college:

1. Clean your room
Not only will your parents appreciate the effort, but after 18 years of stuffing teddy bears and gifts from your grandma under your bed, you might find something you could actually use in your college dorm room–maybe it’s a poster, a blanket or a pair of slippers.  Whatever you wind up discovering in the ether of your walk-in closet or bottomless drawer, sorting through your inventory can keep you from buying things you already have and save you some money.

2. Cook a meal in the microwave
A time will come in your college life when you will discover that for any number of reasons–strange hours, cold weather, etc–the trek to the cafeteria or a local restaurant is not worth your time. In that case, to stave off your hunger, you’ll have to compose something in your dorm room with nothing but a microwave. There are plenty of microwavable meals out there, but you can get creative too. Teach yourself some microwave lessons before you head off. Here’s one for a pizza bagel, and here’s one for Rice Krispy treats.

3. Save/transfer files on you computer
Many students use different computers when they head off to college. Sometimes they get brand new ones, other times they use their school’s state-of-the-art computer labs. Either way, you might have some files–like pictures, papers, music, etc.–you want to keep with you in college. Make sure to either transfer those files to your new computer, a hard drive, flash drive or even email certain things you might want–like that picture of your dog in a Halloween costume.

4. Get a check-up
College means freedom! It also means your mom’s not going to be there to bring you chicken noodle soup the minute your temperature climbs to 99 degrees. So, just to play it safe, get a check-up before you head off to school. Make sure you’re healthy and/or that you have the prescriptions you’ll need for college. You’d be surprised how many college-bound high school seniors don’t even know how to unscrew the lid to get a Flinstones vitamin, so make sure you’re healthy and ready to take care of yourself in the fall.

5.  Practice living on a budget
The most popular game in college is going as close to $0 in your bank account without overdrawing. All the kids are playing it! If this game doesn’t sound that fun to you, draw out of budget plan for yourself before you head off to college. Practice using it and sticking to course. The more rehearsal you have with the budget, the less you’ll feel like a fish out of water when you actually implement it your first semester.

Do you have any other tips? Comment and share your thoughts!