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How To Prepare Yourself (Or Loved One) For College

Starting college is an exciting time in any person’s life, the sense of possibility and opportunity is unparalleled. That said it can also be a daunting and stressful prospect, whether you are undertaking a bachelor’s degree or a master’s program and whether it is you or a loved one starting the college journey. You are thrust into a new way of life and the pressure to perform is prevalent from the outset. To help smooth the transition and make starting college easier for you or a relative here are some simple tips to follow to help prepare.

Nail the application

The first thing is first, you need to get a place at college and the application is the first step on the ladder. To get yourself off to the best start you need to ensure that your application stands out. Be sure to undertake thorough research of the course and requirements, provide all the information the admissions officers are looking for, and ensure it is written to the highest standard. Applications have been dismissed for as little as misplaced punctuation in the past.  If the application process is beyond your remit consider utilizing professional help, for example, if you are looking to apply for an MBA consider hiring top MBA admissions consultants. If you have contacts within colleges, organizations, or professions that can help you with your application now is the time to call upon them. Do not be shy and do not hesitate to call in the favors on something as important as this.  

 

Budget

Budgeting will be key when in education. You will need to budget and determine how you intend to pay for the course itself. Are you entitled to any scholarships, grants, or loans? If you are able to take out a loan are you able to keep up with the repayments and are sure this is a commitment you wish to undertake?

You will also need to budget for the cost of living while studying. College degrees can be intense and time-consuming and will leave you little spare time or motivation to undertake paid employment. Can you survive without employment and if not can you find a suitable job that works around your college schedule, home life, and income requirements?  Of course, there are plenty of jobs that allow for education, social life, and financial obligations to co-exist but this will be much easier to navigate if you have budgeted accordingly. Finally, it never hurts to have a savings pot to take to college with you, just in case. 

Attend orientation

If you did not attend orientation you will not know where you are going on your first day of college. College campuses can be huge and finding where you need to be is not something you want to leave to the last minute. What is more just because you have a class in one location on a Monday does not mean it will be there on a Tuesday. Orientation will provide you with the knowledge of where your classes will be, where the resources you need are, and other important locations such as dining and recreational facilities.

Check the syllabus and do the pre-reading

Before the course starts you will be issued with a syllabus and a list of pre-reading materials. You are asked to read it in advance for a reason and it may not be covered in class. What is more, you will be expected to know its content, so to avoid falling behind before you have even started be sure to do all of the pre-reading. 

Get involved  

Completing college with a stellar academic achievement is the aim and will stand you in great stead for life after college, that said this alone may not allow your future career application to stand out sufficiently from the crowd. If your college offers extracurricular activities, get involved in them. Not only can this help you in the future it will also help you in your present college life. You will meet more people and expand your contact and networking base. You may also benefit socially and physically from these events, all of which will improve your college experience.

Stay organized and keep on top of time management

College courses require a whole new level of commitment and you are now required to be responsible for your time management without the continuous input of teachers, parents, or employers. You have to manage your time effectively to hand in assignments, complete the pre-reading and any other academic tasks required of you. You will also need to do this while potentially navigating employment, family life, and personal life. If time management is not your forte consider downloading a time management app for your smartphone that can enable you to manage your time more effectively. 

 

 

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