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How To Prepare for College

College is one of the biggest changes you will ever go through in your entire life. If you have never moved or changed schools before, it may be the biggest life change you have gone through so far. While college can be a positive experience, it can be a little disorienting at the beginning. Here are some tips to help you get ready for college and stay grounded once you get there.

Figure Out How To Pay for It

The inconvenient truth is that college costs money, and quite a lot of it. Fortunately, there are many options to help you finance your higher education, including scholarships, grants, and student loans. To qualify for many of these, you have to start applying during your senior year. Contact the financial aid office to help you identify options and fill out the Free Application for Federal Student Aid to see what you can qualify for. If your family has recently experienced a change in income, the financial aid office may be able to offer you alternatives.

Consider Getting a Job

While student aid covers tuition and fees, a large part of your budget as a student consists of day-to-day expenses. A part-time job can help defray these costs, but if you are taking a full schedule, it may not offer enough time for studies and activities. A federal work-study program can be a way to earn money while working on campus. Work-study positions are often more willing to accommodate your class schedule, and because you are working on campus, it is more convenient. However, not everyone is eligible for work-study. You have to fill out your FAFSA form to determine your eligibility.

Stay Safe

Safety issues involving drugs or sexual assault can arise on college campuses. Most institutions have procedures and resources in place to address these issues and make campus safer for students. You should become familiar with these before the beginning of the semester. Once you get to campus, you should protect yourself by staying aware of your surroundings and exercising common sense.

Learn Time Management 

As a college student, you have a lot more freedom than you had previously. Your parents are no longer responsible for you, and your professors do not involve themselves in your academic success the way your high school teachers did. This means that the responsibility to attend class and keep up your grades while balancing a social life is entirely yours. Even for the most diligent students, this can sometimes be a challenge. Nevertheless, you have digital tools for organization at your disposal that even students 20 years ago didn't have. These can help you keep up with all your obligations.

Cultivate a Relationship With Professors

College professors are not required to invest as much in students' academic performance and general well-being as high school teachers are. Nevertheless, they are more than happy to provide help to those who ask for it. It is a good idea to start developing relationships with professors early, perhaps even before the semester starts, once you have enrolled in classes. Professors can be academic advisors who guide you throughout your college career, and they can also help your career post-graduation by providing letters of recommendation, helping you get internships, or introducing you to useful contacts in your field. Be sure to get off on the right foot by keeping communications mature and respectful from the very beginning.

Find Out How To Get Involved

Campus activities offer enrichment opportunities to broaden your horizons, as well as chances to make new friends and have fun after long days and weeks of classes. Most colleges offer a wide variety of activities and student organizations, and it is a good idea to research them before you arrive on campus so you have an idea of what you might want to do.

College can be one of the most valuable experiences of your life. Preparing beforehand helps you get as much out of it as you can.

College professors are not required to invest as much in students' academic performance and general well-being as high school teachers are. Nevertheless, they are more than happy to provide help to those who ask for it. It is a good idea to start developing relationships with professors early, perhaps even before the semester starts, once you have enrolled in classes. Professors can be academic advisors who guide you throughout your college career, and they can also help your career post-graduation by providing letters of recommendation, helping you get internships, or introducing you to useful contacts in your field. Be sure to get off on the right foot by keeping communications mature and respectful from the very beginning. College professors are not required to invest as much in students' academic performance and general well-being as high school teachers are. Nevertheless, they are more than happy to provide help to those who ask for it. It is a good idea to start developing relationships with professors early, perhaps even before the semester starts, once you have enrolled in classes. Professors can be academic advisors who guide you throughout your college career, and they can also help your career post-graduation by providing letters of recommendation, helping you get internships, or introducing you to useful contacts in your field. Be sure to get off on the right foot by keeping communications mature and respectful from the very beginning.

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