7/22/2015

Freshman Five: Preparing for College and the End of Summer

It's summer, and you've probably been having a lot of fun. No more classes, open roads, sandy beaches, and as much Netflix as you can watch until you fall asleep in the middle of an episode of Gossip Girl.

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.


Actually Talk to Your Friends | This one is a biggie! You wouldn't really think it, but so many people go into denial about going to a different university than their friends that they just hang out with their friends without really talking. Actual talking means connecting with someone on a deeper level, and in some cases, giving yourself a bit of closure.

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!

xx
Catch you next time.

P. S. Want 10% off the cutest stuff at Sugar Spice & Sparkle?! Use "SWPREP" at checkout!

44 comments

  1. This an awesome list to think about with the upcoming here ahead. I do a college series each month and would love for you to join.

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    1. Thanks! That sounds great, I'd love some info!

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  2. I'm moving to college in a month and I definitely needed this post - thank you so much!

    Anika [hej + bonjour]

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    1. You're very welcome, glad it helped! Feel free to email me any questions about college if you ever any!

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  3. Love these tips! I'm about to be a junior this fall at Clark University and wish I had found something like this the summer before my freshman year!

    -Ciara
    http://theclumsyclover.weebly.com/

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  4. Great tips. My daughters just went through this a short time ago and once it is gone, you definitely miss it. Much luck in your future!

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    1. Ahh, I'm never sure whether I'm more excited or scared about the future, thank you!!

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  5. What great tips! Especially love the dorm shopping one - I tried to buy it ll at once and it was too much.

    xo katie // a touch of teal

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    1. Thanks, Katie! That was definitely one of my problems my first semester, too! I may have gone slightly overboard. A few times.

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  6. I love this post, especially #1. I was definitely one of those friends who tried to act like college wasn't happening. I didn't want to say goodbye to anyone!! If I would have started talking about it sooner it would have made saying goodbye a lot easier.

    Kayla | http://kaylablogs.com

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    1. That's definitely something I have noticed with a lot of the people from my hometown because we're such a small place, but it's something many of us need to deal with!

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  7. Great list! By far my favorite tip is enjoy the moment! So many of us get caught up in the "what's next?" mantra and it's hard to break. Thanks for these!

    -Morgan
    How 2 Wear It [] http://how2wearit.com

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    1. Finding that balance between now and the future can be hard, but when you do, you can just feel how ready you really are for the next step!

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  8. Such a great list for anyone going into college.
    I definitely bought an overload of dorm stuff but thankfully ended up using all of it.

    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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    1. Oh, you lucky duck! My goodness, my mom was so mad at all the stuff I didn't end up needing!

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  9. I definitely agree with not buying everything at once! It seems to be better on the bank account that way!

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    1. It really is - I hadn't realized how much stuff I bought until I looked at all of the receipts together!

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  10. Great tips! I can definitely agree with enjoying the moment! Everything goes by so quickly!

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    1. Sometimes it can be hard, but it's truly the way to live!

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  11. This is such a wonderful post, and totally took me back to summer of 2012 when I was getting ready to leave for my freshman year! I was definitely in the category of "SO READY FOR COLLEGE!" though haha. ;-)

    xoxo A
    www.southernbelleintraining.com

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    1. That's definitely how I'm feeling right now, I can't wait to go back!

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  12. Such good back to school tips! I'm now one year out from graduating and I totally stand by enjoy each day - it all flies by way too quickly!

    Pick Your Beau

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    1. Thank you so much! Congratulations on almost being done!

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  13. Binge shopping is so much fun, but I'm trying to pace myself.
    Shaguna
    gold&hearts

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    1. It really is more fun for me, but my wallet doesn't seem to think so! Haha

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  14. This reminds me of when I first started college. It definitely goes by so quickly!

    Lauren
    The Fashionista's Diary

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    1. I've only just finished my first year and it really feels like it flew by like a flash!

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  15. This is great advice! I wish someone would have told me these things before I jetted off to college!

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  16. Great advice! I think setting goals is so important.

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    1. Thank you! Too many times people take goal-setting for granted!

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  17. Can I go back to college? I hate the real world, haha! This was great advice!

    xo, Alicia | Alicia Tenise

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  18. Love these tips! But also it makes me feel so old (bring back college!) Enjoying every moment is so important because before you know it'll be over!

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    1. Thanks, I try to remember that throughout the year!

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  19. This brings me back to my college days. Best of luck back at school everyone! x Nicole | www.changeanddress.com

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  20. The beginning of college is equally exciting and stressful! These tips are great, and I have to second your tip about not binge-shopping! I ended up having to return/exchange so much stuff due to buying all of my college things at once before college!

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    1. It really is that weird combination of excitement and stress! Also, I'm working on avoiding so much binge-shopping this semester because making return trips is the worst!

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  21. *and don't binge shop when you're IN college and just procrastinating on studying, either. LOL! I'm about to be a senior and I just cannot believe it. Time FLIES!

    Coming Up Roses

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    1. Ahh, I am SO guilty of binge-shopping during the semester. You should have seen my room in May when I was figuring out how to pack everything up!

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  22. This is such a wonderful post with some awesome tips, I wish I would have known this when I was in school! Great tips! :)

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    1. Thanks, I hope they're helpful to others starting university!

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