If you're going away to school, you will be living in new surroundings. You may be filled with both excitement and fear, and you probably have a lot of questions. Use this time to be proactive and prepare for campus life.
Here are a few things to think about before you even know for sure where you're going…
Living and Dining
- Do I plan to live on or off campus?
- Is there anything I need to buy for an apartment or dorm?
- What kind of budget do I have for living expenses?
- Is it likely that I will have a roommate?
- Will the school let me know who my roommate is in advance?
- Do I want to contact my roommate and make arrangements for arrival day?
- Will I buy a meal plan or cook for myself?
- What kind of cooking facilities are available?
- Will I have access to laundry facilities?
- Do I even know how to do laundry?
- What type of internet access is available?
- How will I access my money?
- Will I incur fees if I use the ATMs on campus?
- Should I open a separate bank account on campus?
- Have I worked out a school-specific budget?
- Do I plan to work while I'm in school?
- Where can I find a job?
- What kind of transportation is available on campus?
- Will I need a car?
- Where can I park my car?
- How will I get back and forth to my hometown?
- How much should I set aside for transportation expenses?
Health and Safety
- Are there any free or low-cost health facilities on campus?
- Do I have health concerns the school should know about?
- Will my prescriptions run out while I'm at school?
- Will I feel safe on campus?
- Do I need to take any safety precautions?
- Will campus life impact my sleep?
- How will I cope with lack of sleep?
- How long will it take me to earn my degree?
- Do I plan to participate in any clubs or organizations?
- Will I join an intramural sports team?
- Are there places to exercise on campus?
- Where is the nearest fitness center?
- Will I be able to practice my religion at school?
- Are there places of worship nearby?
- How many activities can I reasonably juggle?
Coping With Stress
- Do I think I'll get homesick?
- What will I do if I get homesick?
- Whom will I call when I get stressed?
- How do I commonly deal with stress?
- How can I prepare for the stress I may face?
Want to Know More?
- Check your college websites. Most websites include information about campus life.
- Student blogs are another good source for learning about campus life and the student experience.