Thinking about going back to school can be hard, but oftentimes the idea of starting anew can make things exciting - if you're preparing for your freshman year of college, you're probably all sorts of nervous and excited.
There are *typically* two types of people: those who can't wait to leave for college and others who would rather summer find a way to extend itself. College is exciting. And a little scary. Some people absolutely flourish the minute they step on campus and other people need a little time to adjust, and that's perfectly okay.
Despite whichever type of person you are, there are a few things that you should keep in mind to begin preparing for the upcoming school year.
I don't mean talking as in gossip, but talking as in "What are your plans for the year?" or "What are you excited about?" or "Are you okay?". Absolutely spend time with your friends, but don't act like college isn't happening - it'll only make you feel bad and have regrets when you're all moved in to your dorm and they're not there to explore campus with you.
Begin Dorm Shopping Little by Little | Okay, the countdown is officially on the clock and your Mom has already begun reaching for the tissues every time one of her friends asks "Are you excited to move away?!". Do not, I repeat, do NOT binge shop when you're nerves are everywhere about college starting soon. You'll either not buy anything because you can't make a decision or you will actually buy everything because you don't know what you want or really need. Shopping little by little is the best strategy - do you already have an idea of what you want your room to look like? Buy that accent pillow that matches the bedspread you already bought. Maybe next time you're at the store, pick up a lamp.
Now I know you might be thinking "Why make so many trips?", "Why not knock it all out in one go?", or "I just want everything to match!". Honestly, you'll probably end up making a whole bunch of back and forth trips to exchange things that don't work with the room or that you just don't like anymore. This little-by-little strategy may not be necessary for those of you who have the "I know what I want and that's what I'm getting" personality, but sometimes taking the time to feel and plan it all out is therapeutic. Shopping little by little allows you to slowly acclimate yourself to the idea that "Hey I'm moving to college in a few weeks".
Consider Your Goals for Everything | This sounds like a lot of work, but it really isn't. Simplify this. What is something you would ideally accomplish this semester? Are you going to be open-minded about joining extracurriculars or do you want to wait until partway through the semester, or even next semester? Do you want a gym membership? Your answers may change when you're moved in and classes start, but the idea here is that you're actually making yourself think about it. Once you get the ball rolling, it's a lot easier to change your mind when you aren't overwhelmed by the idea that you haven't figured out this long, theoretical list of things you're supposed to think about.
Start Interacting With Cohorts | We are living in the Digital Age, the odds of there not being a Facebook group or page for your cohort class are extremely small. And if there isn't one, then make one and start inviting anybody you already know! These people are your potential roommates, hall/building buddies, lab partners, study groups, etc. and it's not a bad idea to interact on posts, ask questions, and make conversation. Who knows, you may find out the person living across the hall is in your 7:30am Biology lecture and you can make sure the other is awake and walk over together.
Enjoy Every Moment | You probably already know this, but here's a healthy reminder! Hug your bestie who randomly brought you coffee on their way to work 'just because'. Organize a movie night with all of your best buds. Go on a random road trip, just keep driving until you see the name of a city you've never heard of. Swim at the lake and have a picnic. This isn't just any summer, this is the summer: one filled with excitement because you are about to embark on an adventure that will change you and You. Can't. Wait.
Hope these tips are helpful! If you're starting college soon, good luck!
Catch you next time.
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