How to Prep for College When you Don't Know Which School You'll Attend


If you're anxious to make sure that you're ready for college, this blog post offers several ideas for how you can prepare for college even if you don't know which school you are going to attend.

Getting Ready for College

You're a good student, which means that you want to be ready for college when the time comes. But how do you prepare for something when you're not entirely sure about what is to come? More specifically, how do you make certain that you're ready for college when you aren't even sure which college you'll be going to? While decision day has yet to come, there are still plenty of ways you can start thinking about and preparing for the future.

Prepare Academically

It probably comes as no surprise, but college academics are nothing like high school. You'll take fewer classes and spend less time in lectures. Your grades will be decided by fewer factors, being comprised mostly of a few major exams and perhaps papers. You'll be exposed to more rigorous academic materials and be asked to meet higher expectations.

But don't fret. You can get ready for this academic adjustment ahead of time.

For example, you can seek out academic writing in peer-reviewed scholarly journals, which you probably have access to through your high school library, and practice reading (and understanding) texts on this level. Another effective way to get ready for college academics ahead of time is to take actual college courses. This approach has multiple benefits: It'll help you get used to university-level instruction, and you'll also earn college credits, which will help you finish school faster. Try to find online courses that let you study on your own time, which can help you develop the discipline necessary to get yourself to class on time every day once in college.

A high school student takes college courses online

Prepare to Be Independent

Another big change you can expect when you go to college is your newfound independence. This is (most likely) going to be your first experience living on your own and taking care of yourself. You'll have to learn how to properly clean and organize your room, do your own laundry, and follow a budget, maybe even buy your own groceries and cook for yourself. In order to make sure that you can handle these added responsibilities, try out a few of them at home.

For example, ask your parents if you can help with the laundry, or try cooking dinner for your family every so often. You'll learn a lot and your family is sure to appreciate your contributions.

A college student does laundry

Prepare Socially

No matter which college you go to, your social life is sure to see some big changes. In fact, the classic college social scene is a big part of many people's motivation to even attend a university. Whether you're a hard partier or somebody who prefers more of a quiet night in, you'll be exposed to all sorts of new people from different backgrounds, experiencing new relationships and making new friends. So think about what your ideal college social life will look like.

Fo example:

  • Do you want to go out with friends every night? Or, would you prefer a smaller group of close acquaintances?
  • Where do you plan to meet people?
    • Are you going to try to befriend the people in your dorm hall?
    • Will you join campus clubs and organizations or try out for a team sport?
    • Do you plan to rush a fraternity or sorority?
  • What are your boundaries? Do you want to maintain sobriety?
  • How often do you want to see your friends from back home? Do you plan to visit regularly?

A college party

Prepare to Say Good-Bye

One final way to prepare for college that you shouldn't overlook is saying good-bye. You'll be leaving the life that you've always known, perhaps moving far away from your family, friends, and hometown. So take the time before college to spend time with your loved ones and make valuable memories that you can hold onto when you're on your own. Be sure and visit all of your favorite places one last time - and don't forget to take lots of photos!

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By Daisy Rogozinsky
January 2019
college college success

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