Education

Starting College: A Beginner’s Guide

move off campus

If you’re starting college this year, you’ve come to the right place. From housing to jobs, we’ve rounded up everything you need to know about how to prepare for college. Move off campus.

We’ll go over tips for packing, looking for work, choosing your course load, and meeting new people in a pandemic. Think of this as your go-to guide for what to know before starting college.

  1. Secure Your Housing

Aside from choosing your classes, picking where to live is one of the most important decisions you’ll make when it comes to college. If you’re starting college during COVID, the decision to move off campus or live on campus is even trickier.

On-campus, you have access to campus safety, roommates, and meal plan. Off-campus, you may save money on rent.

You can also choose where you live, choose your own roommates, or live alone. You’ll have a lot more freedom and a lot more choices.

Off-campus living may also be better suited for COVID-19 safety measures. When it comes to on or off-campus housing, there’s no right or wrong answer. This decision depends a lot on your financial situation as well as your comfort level.

  1. Get Packing

Once you know where you’re living, it’s time to get packing. No matter where you reside, space is likely limited. Pack light and make sure you have plenty of organizers to find things easily.

Bedding, toiletries, and study supplies are the most important. With off-campus housing, you may find furnished or unfurnished units you can make your own. To save closet space, keep seasonal clothes at home. You can always rotate what you bring with you later in the year.

  1. Don’t Overwhelm Yourself

When you’re choosing your classes, it’s easy to get excited and overdo it. Keep things simple the first semester until you get the hang of things. It will be easier to add more to your class load once you’ve been there for a semester.

Try and pace yourself so that you meet your goals but still have time for a social life, work, or internship. You want to hit your target graduation date without burning yourself out.

  1. Get a Job

If your financial situation requires some income, start looking for jobs before you get to school. There are work-study programs available at most colleges and universities that allow you to work on-campus. Some of your income can also be used for tuition or expenses.

Start applying for off-campus jobs when you get there as well. The earlier you throw your hat in, the more likely you are to get the job you want. Pet sitting, dog walking, personal shopping, or ride-sharing, are easy jobs you can do on your own time and schedule.

Internships are also great for gaining work experience. While not all internships are paid, some give you college credit. These also offer networking opportunities that can help you down the road.

  1. Keep Your Door Open and Get Out When You Can

With COVID-19, your social life may look a little different during your first year in college. One tip is to keep your dorm room door open from time to time. It’s easier to meet people when they feel you’re open to chatting even if it’s with a mask on.

When it’s done safely, it’s also important to get out and meet people. Whether it’s through clubs, your dorm, classes, or Greek life, keep yourself open to meeting new people. These people are sharing in your experience and they may become lifelong friends.

Starting College 101

Starting college is an exciting milestone in life. Not only are you setting out on a new adventure but you’re also meeting new people and heading down a career path.

When it comes to how to prepare for freshman year of college, remember to take things slow, have fun, and stay open to new experiences and meeting new people. Four years goes quickly, enjoy every minute. For more school and life tips head to the blog section.

Ahsan Ali
written by: Ahsan Ali
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