Adding balancing a new schedule a new place and a new experience, and the move to college can be problematic.
Today we are offering various tips to make this transition a thoughtful and successful one.
As someone who has counseled hundreds of students on this transition, preparation cannot be overstated.
So here is the absolute definitive list on things you can do this summer, to have a great move, successful fall and amazing time towards the goal of graduation.
Okay, I know you are asking, why do you always begin with research? The answer is fairly simple and economical: the answer you are seeking is probably residing on an Internet page and ready to serve you. What should I pack for college? The internet has the answer to that.
One of my favorite tips for parents of college entrants is to pre-make food, snacks and smoothie packs that can be saved and blended up in the dorm fridge. That way, the freshman 15 is a thing of the past.
2. Make a few lists and update technology
Use yelp, google and other search engines to make yourself (or your student, mom and dad) a binder of resources. Where is the dental center or the medical center? Where can you go for a bite after a study session at 2 am? What is a reliable taxi service or an ATM?
Put that all in an evernote or in dropbox and print out a copy as a welcome for your new roommate! Are you joining clubs, sports or the Greek system? Put that information in the binder. Calendar it in google. Sync all of your applications and calendars so you are ready to hit the ground running in fall.
3. Speaking of roommates! Connect!
With a risk of sounding too adult-y, you absolutely need to connect with your new roommate and establish some friendly dialogue and rules.
I know rules, shmules and all that, but I have seen a lot of freshman years ruined by a fight over thermostats, a messy versus clean roommate or a rogue girlfriend or boyfriend. What rules or expectations do you have of your roommate?
Try not to be too rigid, but be cognizant of what you need to thrive. If coming home on a Tuesday night to a keg party in your room isn’t it, make that clear to avoid a situation down the road.
4. Accommodations now!
You may need accommodations and this is absolutely the time to Skype or conference with the Disability Services office at your school.
Find out what possible accommodations are, what you will need additional support to qualify for and get that accommodation paperwork ready to turn in so you can start classes with all your accommodations in place.
A HUGE mistake I see over and over again is students who are so used to having accommodations that they are resistant to using accommodations in college and therefore don’t seek them.
It is much better to get the accommodations now than ask for them as a failing sophomore. Believe me – I speak from experience! This may be an opportunity to speak with an expert.
Find your happy place. It is probably the first time in your life, or your child’s life, that he or she won’t have a door to close to zone out.
This is the time, this summer, to practice finding a meditative place without the luxury of a closed door. Invest in some fancy headphones and get a great movie or podcast going so you can recover and combat university stress while being surrounded by a lot of people.
This is so important as you adjust to a new city and setting.
Learn to be adaptive this summer, your fall grades will thank you! This is just a short list of how to be successful in the fall.
What are you worried about and what are somethings you are doing to combat your worry? As always, we are here to help!