26 April 2012
Congratulations! You’ve gotten accepted into college! Amidst all the joy, you realize something: There’s a crapload of preparation that needs to be done. Lucky for you, I, your fellow college-bound friend, am going to help you.
Search the Website
|Amol will be attending Northwestern U. Here his joy
of acceptance on Twitter.
All colleges have a website. Search around, and do some research. Look into clubs and organizations that you may want to join. Maybe find some programs that appeal to you. Search the class lists for classes that interest you. Most colleges have a section for incoming freshmen (prospective students).
Also, in most cases, if the college e-mails your admissions decision, they will provide a website for admitted students with plenty of helpful information.
Pay Your Deposits
When you’re certain that you want to go to a university, start handling the paperwork. Pay your tuition and housing deposits to reserve your spot at the school. It will be one less thing to do later.
Sign Up For Placement Exams
Taking a placement exam can give you an advantage as you’ll be put in higher level classes. Some institutions have a testing center for this while others have their exams online. You can use these exams to test out of pesky requirements (foreign language most likely) or populated introductory courses. Be cautious though. An online exam does NOT mean an open-book exam. While you are free to use notes on an online placement exam, you may regret it when you get a D in Spanish 301.
Most colleges should have a program for admitted students. It generally involves a more detailed tour than what is normally given, a description of classes and programs, an overview of housing, and many current students that will talk to you. They usually provide meals, too. You should definitely clear your schedule on whatever day the program is held. They may even give you some free swag if you visit.
You don’t want to have a shitty time in college. So, plan ahead. Figure out what dorm is the best, where the best places are to eat, what are the best programs, etc. Think about what meal plan you’ll need. You’re going to be living on your own for what is probably the first time ever. If you don’t do some research about your college, you may get the worst of what your college has to offer. Who knows, you may even find a program that really interests you.
Many colleges set up a Facebook page for their incoming class. Join it, and meet your future friends. If you do this, you can avoid the awkward first day by knowing people already. If you’re afraid about random roommate selections, you can use this to find a future roommate that meets your demands. College will be a completely new experience, and there’s a lot to prepare for. So, take the early steps to make sure that your time in college is the best that it can be from the beginning.