As students begin counting down the days for college to start, things start to get very real very fast. Since it's still summer vacation for some of us, colleges don’t send many emails telling you what to do and when. In fact, I just scheduled an appointment for a physical that I know is long overdue and I haven’t even begun the process of sending in certain health forms, because I completely forgot about it. To make matters worse, I don’t have a printer, a scanner and in a day or two, a laptop. So, for all the unlucky, procrastinating hot messes like myself, here are a few tips to get organized, informed and prepared in the weeks before college begins.
1. Go to your local library.
If any of you are a busy body like me, I know how much of a pain it can be to just go to the library and use the generic, slow internet browser they have on the old desktop computers available. In these cases, however, beggars can’t be choosers and this is as good as it’s gonna get at this point. Luckily, practically all libraries allow you to use the internet, print as many copies for a small price and scan those papers for free. Once you do all of that, it only takes a minute to send an email with the documents to your college. Easy peasy, right?
2. Double check EVERYTHING!
As tedious as it might be, go on your college’s website at least once a day. By doing so, you can browse through the site to see what you’ve already finished and what still needs to be done. Along with that, check your emails frequently! Even though your college might not email you every single day, they will send periodic emails with several instructions on each one, so pay lots of attention to what you delete. As a bonus step, make a "saved" folder! That way, if you don’t have the time to read the email when you open it, you can always save it in order to read it later when you can.
3. Join a college group chat!
I absolutely, 100% cannot say this enough: JOIN A GROUP CHAT! It will literally, and figuratively, be a huge lifesaver. I’m in a group chat with people that will be studying abroad with me in the fall. If I hadn’t joined that chat, I truthfully have no idea what I would do with myself. Having other people in the same boat as you is extremely helpful because some of them will know what’s going on and gladly help you with important links, documents and contact information. Multiple heads working together are better than just one, so even though group chats mean spam galore for your phone, it’s definitely worth it in order to know what the heck you’re doing.
4. Stay in contact with your school!
As a fellow teen, I know how low-key annoying it is to talk on the phone sometimes. That’s why texting and email were invented, right? Regardless, calling your school’s financial aid office, health office, admissions office, etc. is way more efficient than sending an email. Not that I’m explicitly aware of this by any means, but I have tried emailing my college and they will not answer in a timely fashion because, as a wild guess, they get thousands and thousands of emails all the time from students probably wondering the same thing as me. Therefore, taking some time out of your day to make a call will definitely give you answers more quickly about whatever you need to know. And don’t slack on this, either! It will take you 20 minutes at most, and will benefit you in the long run.
5. Research, research, research!
If I had a dollar for every time I went on my school's web page, I'd be the rarest breed of all: a rich college student. Seriously, if I didn't go on my school's website at least twice a day, I'd be totally and completely screwed! Truly, all you have to do in order to know what's what is go right to the source, click links upon links upon links, skim over each one and click some more and BAM! You'll find what you need to do, what you've done already and stay updated on everything that's new and exciting about your school. Additionally, if what you're looking for is more personal, most schools have blogs! Blogs, unlike simple school websites, provide real-life insight from upperclassmen students, academic advisors and even admissions representatives that can tell you the differences of similar majors, the pros and cons of an 8 a.m. class and much more. What some students don't realize nowadays is that all the information we need to know is literally right at our fingertips as we type, type and type some more.
Now go get 'em, tiger! With these tips, your college preparation process should go smoothly in just a short amount of time. Once you’ve done all of this, you can sit back, relax and enjoy the little amount of time left this summer.
Lead Image Credit: Pexels