Starting college? Feeling overwhelmed? This is one of the biggest transitions in a lot of people’s lives, with a lot of things changing and a lot of different decisions to make. With so much to think about, no wonder you feel overwhelmed. To ease your burden, here are three important tips for students about to start college.
Make a budget
Most of us aren’t very rich during our college years; so don’t try to live like you are. While it’s tempting to eat out several times a week and buy a completely new wardrobe now that you’re an independent adult, you will also have many expenses that you just can’t avoid, and you need to save some money for those. Examine your sources of income and assess how much you’ll be getting for each year, then divide that into how much you have for each month, and then budget accordingly. First, figure out how much you’ll be spending on essentials like rent, bills and groceries. After that, you’ll know how much you have left for non-essentials like nights out, clothes or hobbies. Put these into different categories as well to limit yourself from spending all your leftover money on one of them at the start of the month. Always make sure to overestimate and leave yourself a good margin for each category, and always have some extra put aside in case of emergencies or surprise expenses.
Choose accommodation that suits you
For many of us, college is when we live independently for the first time in our lives, and that’s a big step. It can be hard to figure out how and where you’d like to live. Campus housing offered by your college is a good choice for many, giving easy access to college life and easily allowing you to make friends. However, it can be expensive, and the party and socializing lifestyle isn’t for everyone. You can also consider off campus housing that will provide some distance to the actual campus but still allow you to meet and make friends with other students, while being a bit calmer and quieter. It’s all about finding the option that’s best for you, that allows you to prioritize what you find more important about the college experience, while staying productive.
Get more organized
When you’re in high school, you don’t have a lot of independence or flexibility regarding your schoolwork. College is an entirely different experience. But don’t get swept up in the freedom of making your own schedule, that’s a sure way of falling behind with your work and getting pretty poor grades. Before your studies start, familiarize yourself with your courses and the work you’ll be doing, set some goals for the term, and organize according to your deadlines and classes. You’ll find it very helpful to plan out your weeks in advance and keep documents or spreadsheets with all your assignments and deadlines to keep yourself on top of everything.
Spend some time thinking about these tips before you start college and you’ll get off to a great start in this very important chapter in your life.