As the first semester comes to end for many college freshmen, a number of other individuals are getting ready to start their collegiate career. Whether it’s community college students who wanted to get their feet wet, those who wanted to take a semester off before they got started into college, or those who are going back to school after a long break, there are many individuals who are starting out in a four year school for the very first time. For most, it can be quite intimidating to live in a college dorm for the very first time. Here are some things to consider if you’re about to make the move to a four year school in the dorm.
Make the dorm like home: Although it’s recommended that you try to distance yourself away from what you had at home, there are some ways you can still make the dorm room like home. This can provide the added comfort necessary to deal with living away from home for the very first time. For one, you’ll need somewhere comfortable to sleep. Looking into quality college bedding sets is a great way to get started. There’s no reason you should sleep in discomfort; you’ll need your sleep to prepare for those papers and Mid-terms. In addition to the bedding, why not bring a painting or other small item that reminds you of home. You’ll appreciate it when things get a little overwhelming.
Address Your Budget: We’ve all heard of the idea of the poor college student. There’s a reason for that. Between classes, studying and homework, and any social activities, finding a full-time job is probably a little too much. Therefore, you have to find ways to stretch your budget and learn how to save. There are a wide variety of free budget programs out there that can help you address your budget. Look into a college union service too to see what services they offer. Often times, they offer free programs, including budget planning and other personal finance programs that you should take advantage of.
Think outside of the classroom: Because you’re new and you want to get as much done academically as possible, it can be very easy not to do too many things socially, which does you no favors. College is a time to grow not only academically, but socially. It is a time to meet new people who share your likenesses as well as those who will challenge you. Take the time to sign up for clubs and other social organizations that will help you make contacts and broaden your horizons.
Look at college as a preseason to the career: Finding a job is tough in this market. It’s better to plan sooner than later in regard to what you want to do with your life. Start looking for internships and research opportunities that will make you more attractive when it comes time to search for a job. Many who are still unemployed regret not doing more during their four years to prepare them for the job market.
There’s no question that college can be a time to learn new skills and broaden yourself – both socially and academically. By realizing the opportunity you have, you can take advantage of your time here to make it the best time now and in the future.
Chris H is a graduate student at Rowan University. He hopes to finish his MA in Writing later this year.