Congratulations! You got into the college of your dreams and you are more concerned about how to get ready for college. That’s exciting, isn’t it? Now the question becomes, what do you actually need to do before you get there? Entering a college is not like entering a library, or a sushi bar. You can’t just walk out again. You’re there for the long haul and you better prepare for that.
Today we’re going to look at some of the most important things that you’ve got to look into if you want to make the college of your dreams not turn into a nightmare.
Read the rulebook
Sure, it’s dry, it’s boring and it’s probably much longer than you’d like, but it’s important. Some colleges have rules on their books that might surprise you and that could seriously hamper your time there.
Alternatively, you might just learn about a program or opportunity – like options for dyslexia or opportunities to use credits from AP classes at your high school – that can make your life a great deal easier. What’s sitting down for a few hours and reading a news report compared to that?
Check the news
Another step that’s important (though you probably should have done it before you decided to go to the school) is check if your college has been in the news lately and whether it’s been positive or negative.
This will alert you to problem areas and things you want to avoid, even while putting you in a position to take advantages of new developments. Has some group of the school been implicated in dodgy dealings? Is a new project being started that fits you like a glove? These are things you want to know about.
Check up on the professors
There are plenty of services out there that can give you a good idea of which are good professors and which are bad ones. Take advantage of them. In that way, you can avoid those professors who can’t teach and those who demand so much course work that you don’t have time for any of the other courses.
A course is a course, some of you might be thinking. That just isn’t true. Take it from me. Some professors have the ability to turn something utterly engaging into something completely yawn inspiring. Others can turn something that you would never have thought to be interesting into something that you end up wanting to devote your life to.
It’s important to find out which one you’re going to have in front of the classroom, don’t you think?
If there are groups that you’d like to be a part of, then start connecting with them before you come down. After all, when college starts they’ll be just as busy as you are and that means it’s much harder to connect then.
Better to have already laid the ground work, found out what you need to know and have started making some inroads with the people in the know.
Your connect doesn’t have to be anything spectacular. Just ask for information, what is needed to join and what you can expect. Throw in a few compliments (we all love compliments) and you’ll be able to slide right in when you arrive – something that will certainly be helpful especially if you’ve got a shy streak.
And that’s important, after all, it isn’t just the courses but also the people that make a college of your dreams.
If you’ve ever driven a car, you know that you can’t just go from standing still to driving in 5th gear. You need to move through the in between stages as well. The same is true of your brain. You can’t go from not doing any intellectual work to creating some of the best content you’ve ever written. You’ve got to go through the in between stages as well.
For that reason, start getting your brain back into work mode before you hit your college. Check out your textbooks, read up on some of the stuff you did before you quit for the summer, check out TED talks. Basically, put your brain up a gear.
In this way, your first days in class and your initial essays will be sharper and more focused than they would otherwise be. That is sure to make a good impression. And that, in turn, will last you the semester, with your professors far more likely to give you the benefit of the doubt.
Just because you think that you’ve got the college of your dreams lined up doesn’t mean you should sit on your laurels and let it all just happen. There are a lot more factors to making your time college an absolute dream than just going to the right place.
So start early. Start looking into how to make the connections with people and professors so that you can hit the ground running. This will cut down significantly on the turmoil and the chaos that are sure to accompany those first few weeks and months after you’ve moved into this new lifestyle.
And that can only be a good thing.