Once the decision has been made and sent to the college you are officially attending, there is a new set of choices to be made. Awful, right? The college process is indeed an extensive and draining process. But at the end, everything you’ve done will be worth it because you will be college ready! To put you on the fast track, here is a comprehensive list of everything you need to know before you make your way to college.
The Packing List: 6 Necessities You Didn’t Know You Needed
“I feel great about going to college because I can have so much freedom from my family,” said Darlene Franco, a senior at John D. O’Bryant. However, when it comes to knowing what to buy for college, Franco admits she doesn’t feel prepared.
Purchasing necessities for college can be burdensome because it is not always clear what is needed. Sure, there are obvious necessities, like clothes, shoes, toiletries, textbooks, school supplies, and a bed set, but what else do we need to be comfortable in college?
No worries! Here is a list of a few less-obvious things you must consider getting.
A power strip. This is crucial for the long hours you’ll be typing essays, sending emails, doing research, and putting together projects. The built-in outlets in your dorm might be blocked, occupied, or located in a weird space, so a power strip is key for those difficult times.
A Full-length mirror. Meetings with your professor, boss, and friends all require different outfits, so a good mirror will come in handy when you’re quickly changing to go to your next event or appointment.
A Bike, for easy commuting around campus and quick trips to the grocery store. Plus, it’s much quicker to bike across campus when you’re running late to class, forgot about a meeting, want to grab a quick bite to eat in between classes, or coming home from work late at night. And, it’s environmental friendly!
A safe. With all your valuables coming with you to your dorm, you need a secure place to put all those items. Besides, you’ll be sharing a room with someone and facing constant intrusion from your friendly neighbors into your room.
Rain gear. The weather can be unpredictable and awful, but despite the rain or snow, you still have to go to class and work. To make sure you don’t show up drenched, an umbrella or raincoat will come in handy
Cleaning supplies and first aid kit. When you first arrive to your dorm, you should spray and wipe everything down. Then, keep your cleaning supplies and first aid kit around in case of spills, accidents, scrapes or cuts.
Dive in: How to get involved in college and meet new people
College is a completely different environment from high school. You will be surrounded by countless unfamiliar faces and overwhelmed with emotions from anticipation to concern. Starting over and making new friends can be frightening, so here are some strategies to assist in making new friends easier.
Find the hot spots on campus. Find the spots where all the different groups hang out, whether it be the library, dining hall, the cultural center or the gym, so that you can introduce yourself to everyone and find people with the same interests as you.
Sit in at a student government meeting. It’s important to know what’s happening in your school. Sitting in on student government will help you learn about ways you can get involved and make the school better, and you could even pitch in your own ideas or concerns.
Check out the flyers and postings around campus. When you’re in high school, it can be easy to ignore the posters on the wall. But, when you’re walking around your campus, there might be postings about ways for you to get involved with clubs, on-campus jobs, service projects, or events.
Attend the student organization fair. This is your chance to see all the clubs that exist, all in one place. Make sure you introduce yourself to the people in charge of the clubs. Also, take note of what clubs don’t exist yet—you might be the person who starts it!
Join a cause, charity, or foundation that you’re passionate about. This is a great opportunity to make a huge impact at your college, or in the community you live in. In addition, you can meet new people or get your friends involved as well.
Look through the events calendar. The calendar posted online is your guide to everything that occurs at your college. Whenever you’re confused on when something begins, the calendar is your source! A variety of events, activities and important dates are announced, giving you an idea of which ones to go to and how to update your own schedule.
Your Last Summer Reading List
The summer before college is finally the summer when you don’t have to do any summer work. However, that doesn’t mean you should just waste the time away. Below are a few suggestions from the WriteBoston staff for what you can read to prepare for the next four years.
The BrokeAss Gourmet Cookbook, for cooking on a budget. -Kieran Collier
Homer's Odyssey. If you study anything within the liberal arts, you're going to encounter tons of allusions to it, so it's definitely a good text to know. It's also just a really fun read! -Alyssa Vaughn
Get the Flipboard app. You can select topics that interest you and Flipboard will send you a daily digest of ten articles that suit your interests. -Kelly Knopf-Goldner
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teenagers by Sean Covey. Yes, this book is probably shelved in the self-help section. But it's a readable, action-oriented, and humorous take on personal leadership. It's full of real stories from teens, great quotes, and even some comic strips. I read it as a teenager and it changed my perspective on managing stress and my goals. -Anne Shackleford
The Merry Recluse: A Life in Essays by Caroline Knapp. The short stories touch on social situations you will encounter throughout your college years. The body image essay is especially relevant. -Carla Gualdron
I spoke with Jennifer Thai, a sophomore at Bunker Hill Community College majoring in biology, about how she stays on top of her studies in college.
What are some studying techniques that you follow/use?
I'm taking a biology course which is a lot of reading, so it's good to reread the chapter in order to understand because in biology, everything is pretty much thrown at you, so the best way to remember is to reread and underline all vocab words. Practicing problems is such a great technique when you’re doing math problems, especially when you’re trying to understand a formula.
How do you manage work, studies and school at the same time?
You have to really think about a good schedule for work because school is always first. You have to think about how many days you’re going to school, and how many classes you have because you don't want to over stress yourself. My first semester I struggled with this because I was so overwhelmed with getting work done when I had work the next day. I just felt like I wasn't getting enough done, and submitting things in late because work got in the way.
What do you recommend for students to do over the summer before college? Should they work, relax, or study?
Work to make money for yourself because you don't do that enough during school. Study as well because when you get back to school you won't remember most of the things you learned, and of course relax because this is your break and everyone needs breaks.
What are some of your favorite places to study?
My favorite places to study is at my college library and sometimes Boston Public Library. It's so quiet and everyone around you is focused and getting their work done.