If attending a university is high on your priority list, it’s good that you’re starting to think about it early. When you have a plan, you’re able to set goals and create steps to achieve them.
This whole process, while overwhelming, will help you be successful when you are in college. We’ve compiled a list of the 10 most helpful tips for curating the perfect plan for college. Read on!
- Keep Tabs on Your Grades
You don’t have to be the valedictorian, but you do need good grades. Make sure you are on top of the assignments you have in your classes and that you don’t forget something. If you remember when projects and papers are due, you’ll be able to work on them a little at a time instead of cramming the night before a test.
It’s never easy to force yourself to be something you’re not. If you aren’t someone who finds it easy to get organized, this first step may come as something of a challenge.
But don’t worry. The simplest tip for remembering something is to write it down. Always write down the assignment when the teacher mentions it. Here are some ideas to try:
- Keep a small notebook and short pen in your back pocket so it’s always there when you need it
- Use a daily planner or calendar so you can write assignments on the exact due date
- Make a pen mark or dot on your hand as a reminder to write down assignments
- Take time every time to write the assignment down as soon as you hear about it. Don’t wait!
- Become Self-Motivated
One of the biggest changes in college is being in charge of yourself. There is no one reminding you when to do things or questioning your decisions.
This means that you have to fulfill your own obligations without your parents or guidance counselors hounding you. And if you’re not already skilled at making yourself do things you don’t like to do, it’s time to become so.
Self-motivation is a skill you will be so grateful to have when you start university. While all your friends struggle to finish their homework instead of playing video games or bingeing Netflix, you will be finishing yours and enjoying free time guilt-free.
- Weigh Your Options
Make sure you do some reading to determine what the rules are at your university about students living on campus. Some colleges expect freshmen to live on campus for at least the first year. There are exceptions for married students or others that might need to live alone, though.
Room and board are not cheap at a university, so if you want to save money and living off campus is an option, it’s something to consider.
If you must stay on campus, look at all the meal plans before you choose one. Food gets expensive, too, and sometimes choosing a smaller meal plan can help you save money. There are lots of choices you can make to save money on food when it comes to cafeteria food plans, grocery shopping, and other available meal choices. You may also order essay or ask for outside help with a specific subject if it is needed to make you feel less stressed. Finding ample time to relax is vital for everyone not only for students who are academically overloaded.
- Apply Early
If you have several options on your list for which university to attend, make sure to apply early. While those application fees stack up, some colleges advertise free application days or weeks when they want to encourage everyone to get their applications in.
The earlier you apply, the earlier you receive a decision. You can begin having conversations about financial aid and scholarships the university may offer. You can also start planning ahead for class registration and other decisions.
- Let Yourself Relax
The end of high school is a stressful time. Worrying about all the decisions to make at university is only added pressure that doesn’t help you make good choices.
If you can spend a little time relaxing before a big decision, you’ll be less tense when the time comes. Spend time thinking about your choices before you actually have to meet a deadline. If you are someone who is very organized, you can try a pro/con list or another helpful note-making tactic to help you make your decision.
In the end, realize that whatever university you choose, or whatever meal plan you choose, will work. You are strong and resilient, and you can improvise or make a different choice in the event that the first choice wasn’t quite right. Trust yourself and when the time is right, be confident about your choices.
- Don’t Be Shy
When you finally get to your new home, don’t let loneliness and depression get the better of you. Be intentional and place yourself in situations where you will be able to meet new people.
Even if you’re not a natural people person, you can make it a goal to go to one mixer or game night per week, or whatever seems right for you. Being isolated will not help you succeed. It’s important to try to make friends and spend some time with other people to boost your spirits.
You can also make use of the gym or rec room on campus. Most places offer free or discounted membership to students. Exercise helps your body’s ability to release endorphins and boost your mood, keeping you happy and stress-free.
- Harness Available Resources
Keep your eyes and ears open as you walk across campus. Flyers, chalk notes, and other signs and advertisements will be everywhere. If you spend time noticing what is going on around you, you’ll find all kinds of ways to get involved.
There are plenty of resources all around campus. Most have churches, registered student organizations, student enrichment programs, and free giveaways. There’s something for everyone on campus. Harness all the available resources to make your time at university the most successful it can be.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Your Professors
Some students think that only the people who are failing use professors’ office hours. In reality, any time you have a question or want to spend extra time on something you are studying in class, professors are happy to take time with you.
They publish office hours on the syllabus for a reason, and the university requires them to keep the office hours. Make friends with them and use them as a resource. You will be successful in your classes if you spend time discussing the material with the teachers.
- College with A Spouse
If you are already married when you start college or get married while attending university, you will add extra responsibilities to the ones you already hold. It may still be a good decision for you and your spouse, but realize that you will have to be extra vigilant to make sure your time in college is successful.
Stay on top of both your studies and your relationship. You shouldn’t sacrifice either one at the expense of the other; both are very important.
If you have classes together, you can help each other study. Spend date nights in. Working through big projects and stressful situations together builds your relationship.
- The Best Tip to Create A Successful Plan for College: Have A Money Plan
The best possible thing you can do to prepare for college is to have a money plan. Even if you are several years away from applying for university, note scholarship opportunities when you see them. Don’t be lazy about them. Come back to your notes when the time is right and see if they would still be an option for you.
You can create a savings plan, like the 529. If you are frugal now, you’ll be thankful later. Paying for college is tough, even if you win some scholarships or financial aid.
You can get a job in college, but you don’t want to spend all your time working when you need to be studying. Sometimes a loan is the only option. Make sure to do your research about which ones have the best rates and the best pay-back schedule.
Earning Your Degree
If you want to be successful while earning your degree, having a plan for college is vital. If you follow the steps above, from being self-motivated to harnessing all the available campus resources, you’ll succeed during your academic career.
For more help with making plans, including financial planning for college, contact us today.