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10 Things to Know Before Going to College

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Going to college as a freshman can be super stressful, especially when you have no idea what you’re walking into. Well, at Collegeboxes, this isn’t our first rodeo! We have some tips to help make sure you have a seamless transition into you first year of college.

1. Set Boundaries with Your Roommates

Living in an unfamiliar environment can be hard, but it’s even harder when you have to move in with a stranger. They may come from a different background with different manners, habits, and ways of communication. Needless to say, it can be quite an adjustment!

One way to make this transition easier is communicating to one another about how you want your living situation to be. In other words, set some boundaries about when you like quiet time, when you like to wake up in the morning, and whether you’d like to invite friends over to the dorm.

When setting boundaries, it’s important to be patient and kind if your roommate accidentally crosses your boundaries at first. Remember, this is a learning curve for both of you. The worst way to start college is by resenting your roommate and living situation, so try to keep the peace!

Need some help breaking the ice with your roomie? We have just the thing for you:

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2. Communicate with Your Professors

It may be a little scary to do, but communicating with your professors is a great way to get the most out of your classes. It’s super helpful when a professor remembers your name and face.

But when you’re in a class with hundreds of students, it can be hard to stand out. Instead, try to stay behind after class, go to office hours, or even communicate via email.

A good relationship with your professor can really help when you need extra credit, an extension on an assignment, or need to miss a class.

3. Keep Up with Your Mental Health

Between all the schoolwork, social events, and making new friends, it’s vital to keep up with your mental health. An easy way to do this is by making time for some self-care! Prioritizing self-care can keep you motivated, happy, and invested in your schoolwork.

Many college students experience burnout due to juggling work, school, and social life. But keeping up with your mental health helps prevent you from experiencing burnout. Self-care can look different for everyone, so whether you like to binge a TV show, sweat it out in the gym, or even get a little sweet treat, you deserve that time to unwind! And remember that college campuses also have plenty of resources for when you need to de-stress or someone to talk to.

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4. Have an Open Door Policy

The first week of school is the perfect time to make friends! But admittedly, it can feel awkward to put yourself out there at first. Try keeping your dorm room door open when moving in or during that first week of school can help you make connections.

If you do not feel comfortable leaving your door open, you can go as far as knocking on doors to meet your neighbors. This is an easier way to make friends than during lectures when there is less time to talk.

5. Learn to Conquer FOMO

When you’re in college, it feels like there’s always something going on. There are so many club activities, parties, and social events out there. And because of this, many of us have a fear of missing out (also known as FOMO).

FOMO can push us to agree to things that may not be in our best interest (like going to a party despite having an essay due at 11:59). It can be hard to say no to your friends, but there will always be another opportunity to go out and have fun. Make sure you get your work done before hitting the town!

6. Get Fresh Air in the Dorm

Every college is different, but many colleges won’t have AC in their dorm rooms. Just in case, make sure to bring a fan to help circulate the air in your dorm and keep things cool. Another helpful tip is to open your window and put your fan in front of it to circulate in more fresh air.

Protip: The lack of AC can even make it smell in your dorm room, so keep some air fresheners on hand!

7. Attendance is Mandatory

Many college students are led to believe that attendance isn’t mandatory in college classes. While each class may be different depending on the professor, most college classes have mandatory attendance. Your grade can even drop from lack of attendance, or you can lose credit after too many absences. Understand the syllabus for every class and double check how many classes you can miss before it starts to affect your grade.

This is another example of why it is also important to communicate with your professors–you may need some extra leniency with the attendance policy.

8. Learn How to Budget

Budgeting is a hard but essential part of life. If you did not learn how to budget before college, then this is the perfect opportunity! It can be hard to keep track of your spending, especially when you have friends with different budgets and plenty of social events to attend. In general, at least try and be mindful that you aren’t spending more than you make in a month!

The important thing to remember is that you can have plenty of fun in college without spending money. If you hold yourself accountable with your budget, it will help you in the future. You can splurge and spoil yourself sometimes but try to prioritize saving instead of spending.

Learn about more ways to save money in college with this article!

9. It’s Perfectly Fine to Change Your Mind

College is the perfect opportunity to figure out who you are as a person and what you want to do in life. One thing to always keep in mind is that it’s okay to change your mind.

You may come into college set on a specific major or idea of what you want to do with your future. But as you grow and learn, you may find that you’re drawn to a different path. It’s okay to change your major, especially while you have time to explore the options you have.

10. Homesickness Can Hit Hard

Going into college can be rough adjustment. There is a new way of learning, new people, an unfamiliar environment, and a new living situation. You may be thinking that the schoolwork or classes will be the hardest part, but for many students, it’s homesickness.

Many students miss the support and love they got at home and struggle to adjust to life without it. For those dealing with homesickness, know that it is okay to call your family and friends.

Rest assured; you are not the only one going through homesickness. You can always find support in college through campus resources, friends, classmates, and even your professors. And trust us, summer will be here before you know it!

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Speaking of which, when you’re ready to head back home for the summer, leave the heavy lifting to Collegeboxes! We can store all the stuff you don’t want to bring home, like fans, lamps, and even minifridges. We’ll keep your belongings at a U-Haul center near campus, making it a quick pitstop on your way back to school

But it can get even easier with Collegeboxes’ Ship to School service. Instead of having to deal with the chaos of move-in day, Collegeboxes can have all your stuff delivered directly to your dorm room before you get to campus. So, whether you’re looking for short-term storage or the full white-glove service, Collegeboxes is here to make your move easier. Don’t wait another second, let’s get the party started!

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