Guide to Getting Started with College

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College is the most exciting time in a young person’s social and professional development. Learn to broaden your horizons with a world of opportunities.

To many folks, college is a veritable rite of passage. Learning, enrichment, and diversity form the bedrock of the college experience. Campus is a hotbed of ideas; a melting pot of cultures, personalities, and experiences. It brings out the best in every one of us, challenging us to think outside the box, as we explore the seemingly infinite universe of knowledge. College is a didactic milieu, receptive to many different ideas. Everyone has a voice, and everyone’s voice should be heard.

Getting ready for college is undeniably one of the most exciting times in a young person’s life. With high school in the rearview mirror, and endless possibilities up ahead, college presents as the ultimate gateway to the future. Campus life differs markedly from life at home. The personal comforts of life with family give way to life with friends, and fellow students. Everyone is undergoing tremendous change, from a personal and academic perspective. Get used to sharing space with other students in the dorms, in the cafeteria, bathrooms, sports facilities, drama clubs, and other common areas where students routinely congregate. It’s a brand-new phase in your life, and everything is about to change.

Success in the college period of your life is 100% mindset. Focus on what you want to achieve and make it happen. Work hard and reap the rewards. The more academically-oriented you are, the easier it will be for you to successfully apply to colleges. For the talented sports stars out there, US colleges are ready to make you offers you simply can’t refuse. Be sure to work really hard, and get your just rewards from the college experience.  The attrition rate is highest among freshman, but once you make it through first year, you’re in good company.

Let’s check out how to prepare for college, next.

So How Do You Prepare for College?

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Most high school students spend lots of time plotting out their college prospects. Multiple applications to in-state, and out-of-state colleges are common. Naturally, there are benefits to staying in-state, such as substantially reduced costs, proximity to friends, family, and pets, and the added advantage of being able to have regular visits with loved ones. Out-of-state colleges are equally exciting, if not more so. Everything is new. Everything is exciting. Expect out-of-state colleges to be significantly more expensive, but you also get to pick and choose from a much broader pool of top-tier colleges.

It is always a good idea to enlist the support of a school counselor to help prepare your college applications. You can contact your high school counselor, or seek out professional school counselors for college preparations and admissions. These education specialists typically begin by assessing your academic strengths, and your career prospects. They will analyze your preference for academic or practical application of knowledge, depending on your chosen vocation. School counselors are also an excellent resource for assisting you with learning about student loans, including: direct subsidized loans, direct unsubsidized loans, direct PLUS loans, and direct consolidation loans.

Individual colleges also offer grants to students. Information on these grants are provided via the financial aid office at each respective office. School counselors provide the necessary guidance on what to do, including assistance with college application essays.  The FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) application is processed through the college, but it’s always best to first apply for financial aid. Grants don’t need to be repaid, but student loans do. Student loans may not accumulate interest while you’re still in college, while others will. It’s important to be apprised of the terms and conditions of these loans well ahead of time.

Really Important Tips for College Preparation

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College life is worlds apart from anything you have experienced before. For most people, it is the most memorable and exciting stage of life. Get good grades, make great friends, and enjoy a life filled with rewarding opportunities. According to Best Student Loans, these are the things to take care of first:

  • Prioritize your studies
  • Build trust with your professors
  • Embrace the college experience
  • Learn the layout of the college campus
  • Use academic advisors to choose courses
  • Get involved in extracurricular activities
  • Be on time for all your lectures and activities
  • Familiarize yourself with your academic schedule
  • Make sure you have everything you need for study purposes
  • Be sure to attend the freshman orientation at your new college
  • Time management is especially important when considering part-time jobs

These are the most important aspects to consider ahead of your college induction. The goal is clear: Do what you need to do to prepare for the most exciting period of your life. While your focus will be split between all sorts of activities, including academic, part-time work, and social life, the focus should always be on your classes, and your studies. Embrace all of the opportunities ahead of you, make lots of friends, and fill your mind with lots of useful information.

A huge part of the college experience is the social life, but that’s an added extra. Nobody needs to invest hard-earned tuition money on fraternity or sorority parties. While Hollywood movies overhype the social life at college, complete with paralytic drunk exploits, crazy stunts, and wild flirtations, it is always about the academia. If you’re on a sports scholarship, you will need to focus on your on-field performance as well as your academic performance. Either way, college is definitely not only about boozing, schmoozing, and whatever else people do behind closed doors.

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