The transition from high school to college is huge, but you don’t need anyone to tell you that much. While the big move to a new campus and leaving family behind seem like the most obvious changes you’re bound to face, it’s the little changes you’ll really have to get used to: making sure you eat, community bathrooms, and — for those girls who’ve always had their own space — actually sharing your space with someone else.
Your mom or dad isn’t going to be there to make sure you separate your darks and lights in the laundry, double check that you’re not going to burn your clothes when you pull out the iron, or monitor the hours of sleep you manage to (sometimes) get.
Rather than learning all the little lessons when you’re on campus, start practicing now! You’ll be ahead of the game when you move onto campus, and you might even gain some friends by teaching them your tips and tricks.
1. If you don’t already, start doing your own laundry. Laundry machines can be daunting, but it’s not that hard once you’ve done a few loads. Separate your laundry into darks, lights, and delicates, and have your mom or dad help you choose the right cycle. Then, determine what needs to be hung to dry (hint: almost all delicates do!) before you flip over to the drier. By the time you get to packing your suitcase with clothes, you’ll already know how to wash them all properly!
2. Get in touch with your roommate ASAP. As soon as you’re mailed your roommate assignment (if you didn’t select one yourself), add them on Facebook or send them a short “Hey, I’m ___, your roommate!” text. Moving in with a stranger will be much easier if you get to know them before move-in day. Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to start setting some rules and boundaries, like noise distractions and whether or not the light is off at bedtime (this is more important than you think). Spend some time on Skype or FaceTime to start learning about their personality, learn their likes and dislikes, and how they want to get involved on campus!
3. Start dorm room shopping little by little. There are big things you might not be able to purchase until you’re actually on campus, like pillows and a mattress pad for your creaky, uncomfortable mattress, but collecting the small things — like a new razor, cold medicine and pain relief (in pill form), first aid kits, shower shoes, or a sleep mask — throughout the summer will prevent a huge bill on move-in day. Even fragile items can be wrapped in clothing and packed in suitcases. If you haven’t started your packing list yet, or aren’t sure what you should start to look for, Pinterest is a great place to get started! There are hundreds of packing lists pre-made that you can alter to fit your needs.
4. Set social and academic goals for yourself. Setting goals before you even get to campus can be extremely beneficial, even for when it comes time to make your class schedule. Do you want to get that dreaded calculus or bio class over right away? Maybe PSYCH100 is an absolute must-have. Knowing what you want academically can really help you end up with the perfect (or nearly perfect) fall schedule. Social goals are just as important too! Start researching campus activities and clubs you’d like to join, so you can make your school’s club fair day especially productive.
5. Realize that it’s OK to have mixed emotions. Come August or September, you’ll be leaving behind a lifelong chapter to start a new one. It’s important to realize that it’s completely ok to be excited, scared, sad, and happy all at the same time. Even if you’re going to school an hour away from home, you’re going to have to adjust to your new situation… new territory comes with new, sometimes confusing emotions. Cut yourself some slack!
By: Brieanne Jansen