Your freshman year of college might only be months away, or perhaps another year or two. But if you familiarize yourself with these tips now (and perhaps even put some to use in high school), you will be ahead of the game when you arrive on campus for your first year of college.
Don’t spend all of your time studying. Get out there and explore everything your campus has to offer. Getting involved in clubs and activities will help you form lasting connections that will provide invaluable help for years in the future.
Protect your computer. You might be surprised at how many people still don’t use (or frequently update) an anti-virus program. Get one, use it, and set it to run scans and install updates periodically. The last thing you want is a last-minute computer crash, right before a big paper is due.
On that note… Regularly back up all files. Purchase a back-up drive, and back up all of your files nightly, or at least weekly. A cloud system is another great option.
Establish a bank account. It will be much easier to receive money from your parents, and manage your own money, if you establish an account with a bank near or on campus.
Learn how to do laundry. This might sound silly, but yes, some college freshmen arrive on campus without knowing how to do their own laundry! While you’re at it, learn some of the basic etiquette rules of using a laundromat, because it’s unlikely you’ll have a washer and dryer in your dorm room.
Communicate with your new roommate. After you receive your roommate assignment, communicate with them regarding any “ground rules” or expectations. It’s better to agree on these things ahead of time, than to work through disagreements later (although those might happen, too).
Attend summer orientation. If your school offers an orientation session for freshmen, attend it! You’ll start making friend right away, while getting comfortable on campus and learning valuable tips.
Review the campus transit system. Plan your bus routes before the first day of classes, so that you don’t have to scramble to figure out how to get to classes.
Drop during office hours. Introduce yourself to each new professor. Starting relationships right away is preferable to waiting until halfway through the semester, when you need help.
Find out where the food is. Some campuses offer several dining options, and they’re not all the same! Each dining hall might offer different choices, or sponsor themed nights with more interesting food options. Research them all, so that you know what’s available every day. And while you’re at it, learn their operating hours.
Purchase a pair of flip-flops. Yes, really! You’ll need these in community bathrooms and showers.
Attend classes. With all of this newfound freedom, it’s tempting to skip a class here and there. But you might be missing valuable information, like test tips or extra credit opportunities. Plus, you’re paying for each class, so why waste your own money?