Are you or someone you know embarking on their college career? High school and college are dramatically different experiences. Increased responsibility is the biggest change, and being prepared is one of the most significant things you can do to meet the challenges college presents.
The Bare Necessities
The bare necessities are things you should have on you no matter where you’re going. Some of them like your phone, wallet and keys should be second nature to you. The one we will highlight is your student ID. Using the University of Florida as an example, your student ID can be used to swipe into your dorms and student dining. It also has your student ID number on it, something you may require for exams!
Build Good Habits
Success in college starts with going to class. The sooner you create a routine and form that habit of always going to class, the better! There will always be the temptation to skip a class here and there, especially if there's no attendance requirement, but it's integral that you resist and make the commitment.
For the Classroom
Speaking of going to class, how do you take notes? Are you a pen and paper type of person, or do you like to type on a tablet or laptop? Always be sure to have enough supplies and chargers to get you through the day. There’s nothing worse than running out of battery for one of your devices in the middle of an important class. Taking notes can help keep you focused, especially in long classes, and also provides a reference for you later on.
For the Library
College class schedules vary wildly. You might have one class in the morning and a lot of time before your next class in the afternoon. Many students choose to take the opportunity to visit a school library to study. Be sure to have a pair of great headphones for these times! Snacks and water bottles are highly recommended to keep your energy going throughout the day.
Plan, Plan, Plan
Consider getting a good planner, or taking the time to set up a digital calendar. College is all about deadlines. Projects, homework, essays, quizzes and exams for several classes will all blend together. Couple that with the increased freedom college offers, and keeping those deadlines straight isn’t just optional – it’s essential.
Clothing Not Optional
Make sure to have clothes for different seasons, depending on where you live. Using the University of Florida once more as an example, the wintertime does bring some respectably cold temperatures, especially for Florida natives. While the worst of these temperatures happen in the early mornings and late evenings, classes can happen at all times of the day, meaning you should have winter clothes on standby! Don’t wait till the first cold mornings to go out and buy some.
In case of an emergency, such as a sudden ailment or injury, you should know where your student clinic is. If you’re on your parents insurance or your own, you should have all relevant information ready, such as insurance cards, in such a case.
Even though it’s the digital age and cash is becoming less trendy, it’s not a bad idea to have some stashed away just in case.
Adjust as Needed
We’re all different. What works for one student won’t work for another. Experiment and find the best ways for you to meet the challenges that college can offer. It’ll often be hard, but ultimately rewarding!
Florida Credit Union is a full-service financial institution. Founded in 1954 as the Alachua County Teachers’ Credit Union, FCU now services over 130,000 members in 48 counties throughout North and Central Florida. For more information on the services we provide, visit FLCU.org or call us at 1-800-284-1144.