Tips for Making the Transition to College
At this point in high school, you’re probably starting to think about college. You may be working on applications, scholarships, or have already been accepted to a college. Then you start thinking about your dorm room or apartment, how you are going to pay for all that stuff, your roommates, etc, etc. I was just in that spot a few months ago, so let me give you a few tips on how to manage that stress!
Start Planning Early
It’s easy to say, “Oh, college is still so far away, I don’t have to plan for another few months.” While it’s true you still have a little while, it’s best to start planning early. Start thinking and planning where you want to live- are you going to live at home, in a dorm, or in an apartment? Will you have a meal plan? Some colleges have rules involving staying in dorms and having meal plans, so check with your college to see if you are required to have one or both of those things. Some other things to check is what is included in the dorms, whether you have communal bathrooms or private bathrooms, how close your dorm room is to certain buildings, etc. It’s better to be prepared so when you arrive on campus, you aren’t surprised on much.
Start Saving… NOW!
This is something you may have been doing for years, but for me, I’m a horrible saver. I just want to spend right away, so when it came to getting stuff for my room at college, things were a bit more stressful. I don’t know about you, but I saw all these perfect college dorm rooms on Pinterest, and wanted all the best decor and storage. I had to remember that there are things I have at home that work. Try bringing things from your own room at home to make you feel more comfortable at college. A lot of people like to purchase brand new comforters and/or decor (which is great and fun!), but for me, I wanted things to feel more like they were at my home. I brought the same comforter and a lot of the same decorations I used in my room to make things familiar.
Get in Touch With Your Roommate
Once you have your dorm room or apartment figured out, now would be a great time to get in contact with your roommate(s). Your student housing may give you your roommate’s contact information and name, so contact them! For me, my apartment building only gave me their first and last name, so I went to social media to figure out who they were. It sounds creepy, but they were all grateful I took initiative and contacted them first because they were hesitant to do the same thing! It was helpful to create a group chat with my roommates so we could figure out who was bringing certain things so we could save money and not buy double. When it came to contacting my room roommate, we discussed things like who would bring the shower curtain, who would bring a toothbrush holder, if we wanted to have matching towels or just bring our own, stuff like that. It may also be helpful to discuss with your roommate if you’ll have matching room decor; I know some people like to match or coordinate colors and bedspreads. Plus, it’s great to get to know your roommate before you move in with her! Ask her about her favorite food, some of her pet peeves, what her family is like, etc. Might as well become friends with her when you’ll be living with her for several months. 🙂
Meditate/Take Time for Yourself
All of this may seem daunting, but take some deep breaths! It’ll be okay. NOW is a great time to start planning these things, because the earlier you start planning everything, the easier it will be when it comes down to crunch time. You’ll thank yourself later when you don’t have to plan everything only a couple weeks before move-in day. Planning in small increments over a long period of time will significantly reduce your stress levels. So plan early, but don’t stress! Everything will fall in place and it’ll work out how it’s supposed to. You may want to look up a guided meditation on YouTube if you feel stressed, or even just hang out with your friends to get your mind off things. Do things that genuinely make you happy. Do you like to play sports? Do you like working out to release some stress and endorphins? Maybe you like singing, playing an instrument, or being creative. Whatever it is, try to make time in your day to do something you love.
I hope these tips were helpful and you have a smooth transition to college! It’s a lot of fun!