Before you head off to college this fall, there is a whole summer that stretches out in front of you after your homeschool high school years. So much to do and so little time? Or so little to do and so much time? You may have visions of sleeping in until 12, playing video games, and hanging out with your friends. Some of us might be on the opposite end of the spectrum and already have a critical checklist of things to be done before heading off in the fall. Internship. Check. Traveling to far off lands. Check. Put finishing touches on résumé. Check. Whichever camp you fall into, (or somewhere in between) it is important to spend the summer learning a few life skills and how to balance them with academics in order to have a successful beginning to your college career, which is definitely going to be different than what you have been used to as a home schooled kid.
Most schools have a freshman orientation that you should definitely be a part of. Familiarize yourself with the campus, where you are going to live, eat and play for the next four years. Check up on your college requirements and if you can register for classes, do so as soon as possible. Call your roommate and say hello. You might want to meet up for lunch if you live close enough or at least become friends on Facebook.
Sit down with a trusted adult and get your finances in order. Know your budget going into the school year so there are no surprises mid-semester. If you have never done it before, it takes some getting used to, and is one of the less exciting things about being an adult. Deadlines do matter when it comes to financial aid, so double and triple check those dates and forms before its too late.
Work or Volunteer
The summer before college is a perfect time to get a part time job or volunteer. Depending on your financial situation, you might be working to pay for your upcoming tuition or working to have some spending money on the weekends. Working not only helps put money in your pocket, but it gives you a better idea of the dollars and cents behind your finances and what it takes to get you through college. Volunteering and helping others gives you a refreshing break from academics and it might even give you a renewed sense of direction and purpose. Both working for pay and volunteering can change the way you look at things and can give you fresh perspective as you head into college.
One of the things formerly homeschooled college freshmen struggle with is the transition from being a child who lives with and is schooled by mom and dad to becoming an adult that is responsible for knowing certain skills to keep them going in life. Here are a few suggestions that will help you out not only freshman year, but for life in general.
- Learn to do laundry.
- Learn how to cook some of your favorite dishes.
- Be responsible for your own medications.
- Read books for fun.
- Enjoy your friends and family.
- Know how to handle stress in a healthy way that works for you.
- Make sure that everything is purchased, packed and ready to go as your move in date gets closer.
- Oh, don’t forget about the laundry thing.
Get ready to adjust to a new environment, difficult classes, weird sleeping patterns, dining hall food and some of the best years of your life. Plan and prepare, but don’t stress.
This guest blog was written by the Cadet Admissions department of North Georgia College & State University, the Military College of Georgia. North Georgia College & State University is one of the top military colleges in the US and offers an Army ROTC scholarship to those wishing to pursue a field in the army.