Yep, it’s that time again. What parents consider to be the most wonderful time of the year, and what students think is the worst time of the year, it’s back to school season. Everyone and everything is gearing up for the second-largest shopping season of the year. But it’s more than just buying school clothes and a pencil case. Millions of students around the world are preparing to go back to school. But as your little brother or sister is gearing up for high school, you’re getting ready to go to college or university. This is one of the most important, overwhelming and stressful transitional periods for any person who has had to live through it.
A wide variety of headaches come with prepping for that first day of college. It’s important to realize that these final days heading into the fall semester will be a lot different than those final days heading into another grade of elementary or secondary school. Not that there is any pressure being placed on you! Remain calm, be confident and continue to be excited for these next two to four years.
Here are seven steps to make that transition from high school to college:
1. Change Your Back to School Shopping List
When you go to college, your entire shopping list changes. No longer will just purchasing a pencil sharpener, pencil case and pencil crayons suffice. When you go to college, you have to look at new computer equipment, new mobile devices, new software programs or mobile apps (see below) and so on. Since your new shopping list is expensive, forget about buying new clothes because that’s just a waste of your limited finances.
Unsure what to purchase? Here is a brief list of back to school shopping stuff for college:
- Basics: mechanical pencils and pens, notebooks, rulers and sticky notes.
- Organization: stapler, three-hole punch, scotch tape, scissors and backpack.
- Study Aids: index cards, highlighters, calculator and scheduler.
- Home: pillows, bedding, towels, laundry detergent and cleaning wipes.
- Technology: laptop or tablet, USB flash, printer (debatable) and power strips.
Every student has his or her own needs, but this should be a great starter for your transition.
2. Clean up Your Social Media
If you’re a younger millennial then chances are you have a large number of accounts at various social media outlets, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Snapchat and so on. Also, if you’re a younger millennial then it’s likely you’ve made some mistakes, whether it’s hurling insults, posting inappropriate photos or making controversial comments (racist, sexist or homophobic).
Whatever the case, it’s time to start cleaning up your social media. College is your first step in adulthood and establishing a career. Everything you do from here on will have a major impact on your future. Social media has essentially become a biography for everyone, so if an employer peruses your social networks and finds rude remarks then they may dismiss you.
Here are tips on how to start cleaning up your social media before you start college:
- Change your profile: make it professional, upload a respectable pic and curtail the amount of social media accounts you have. Do you really need seven?
- Edit your accounts: this should consist of deleting some photos you really don’t want the world to see and perhaps even deleting comments you have made in the past.
- Closing down accounts: again, there really is no need to have seven different social media accounts. Many of them are pretty much the same.
- Revising the content: moving forward, try to post content that is relatable to your future. For instance, if you want to become a physicist then share links to interesting news articles and videos and follow those in that industry.
- Network: who is in your network of contacts? This is an important question to answer because hiring managers take this into consideration. If all of your connections are rude, racist or inconsiderate then that will reflect badly on you.
3. Conduct an Audit of Your Personal Finances
Prior to heading off to college, you should conduct a thorough audit of your personal finances. Remember, your parents won’t be looking after you anymore so you’ll need to learn how to budget, save and spend wisely. Before leaving home, there are a few things you will have to find out:
- How much money you have.
- How much credit you have.
- How much student debt you’ll maintain for the next couple of years.
- How much income you’ll be earning (if any).
Also, most importantly, produce an honest and detailed budget to live within your means.
4. Learn to Read More & Boost Your Technical Skills
In these final days or weeks of summer, start to get in the habit of reading more. You should realize that you’ll be doing a lot more reading in college than you ever did in high school. Indeed, it’s normal to dump the books in June, but you’ll have to get in the routine once again. It’s simple enough: read more. Whether it’s newspapers, pulp fiction, 19th century novels or Wikipedia pages, just read!
In addition, give your technical skills a boost. Similar to reading, you’ll likely be incorporating a lot more tech skills into your daily college life. Take the time and improve your Microsoft Office acumen, coding knowledge and the college’s internal blackboard system. This way, you won’t be overwhelmed during your first lecture, assignment or exam.
5. Search Around for a Part-Time Job
Let’s be honest: college is very expensive. Students are leaving not only with tens of thousands of dollars in student loan debt, but also credit card debt. One way to ease the monetary pain is to obtain a part-time job. You can earn additional pocket money, limit the amount of debt you’ll inevitably accumulate and perhaps even build an emergency fund. There are many jobs you can consider applying for: call center representative, cashier, fast-food staffer or grocery store stockboy.
6. Take Advantage of Time, Productivity Apps
For the next two to four years, you’ll be inundated with assignments, tests, projects and exams. This translates into minimal time and heightened productivity. In order to manage your time and enhance your productivity, you should start to browse and take advantage of various apps on Google Play or the App Store. Or, you can look into these five apps:
7. Get Involved, Research Your School and Meet Others
Lastly, get to know every facet of your new school. From the various activities the school offers to the numerous social organizations it maintains, perform research on every important element of your college. This way, you can get an idea of what you want to get involved in, how to meet others at your college and learn something new about the school.
See Also: Sleep Habits of Successful People
If you’re feeling intimidated and anxious, don’t worry about it. We’ve all experienced an array of emotions during the final stretch of the summer holiday, whether during high school or college. You’ll persevere and do very well. As long as you follow these tips then you’ll flourish and cultivate becoming a productive member of society and contributor to the economy.