The following suggestions, taken from an article by Leslie S. Goldberg, M.Ed., were originally printed in a periodical called Connections.
Ms. Goldberg, M.Ed., is a certified educational planner in Hingham,
Massachusetts. She has some great recommendations for our seniors who
will attend college next year.
Learn how to do laundry before you leave home.
laundry at home or you might have to wear pink or gray underwear that
started out white. It is better to experiment on old clothes with
different detergents, bleaches, and water temperatures than possibly to
ruin clothes at school when it may be inconvenient to buy new ones.
Don’t room with someone you already know.
You’ll be less likely to find new friends and you might get sick of each other very soon. Pick someone you don’t know.
Join at least two extracurricular activities.
Becoming part of a group, team, or club will make you feel like you belong and help you make new friends.
Call your parents!
Get your housing information in early
You’ll have a better chance to get the room you want because the best residence halls and locations are filled first.
Buy a good daily planner and USE IT!
A daily planner will keep the dates of your appointments, vacations, and
important birthdays in one spot so you can function well right away in a
new environment that can be overwhelming. If you leave this wonderful
tool in your desk, it is absolutely worthless.
Select classes that have a balance of reading and non-reading courses.
Don’t take too many courses that require a great deal of reading and
writing in one semester. The strain, especially around finals, may be
Try to fulfill college or university requirements before taking courses for fun.
If you don’t meet course requirements, you might add a semester or a year of extra tuition.
Take a course that is difficult for you at a community college during the summer.
The summer semester is shorter than a semester during the academic year
and you don’t have to take other courses. It is easier to concentrate
and to get a better grade than it is during the academic year.
Call your mother.
It should make you both very happy and you might get a box of goodies the following week.
Meet your adviser early and visit regularly.
Don’t wait until you have an emergency, such as needing to drop a
course, before you meet your adviser. A good relationship with your
adviser will help with every aspect of life on campus.
Visit your professors during their office hours and get to know them.
You will learn your subjects more easily and possibly get better grades
by discussing course content with your professors. If they know you are
trying to learn and show interest in their subjects, they will more than
likely give you the benefit of the doubt on tests or grades.
Don’t buy too much before you leave for college.
Buy most supplies for courses and your room after you have been on
campus for a while and have found out what you need. There simply isn’t
room for a lot of extra stuff in your dorm.
Call your father!
If you check in on a regular basis, parents will bug you less.
If you go home at Thanksgiving expect to be somewhat disappointed.
Your room at home may seem smaller. Your old friends may only want to
talk about themselves and don’t want to listen to your college
experiences. Your parents will expect you to sit around with the family
the whole time!
Be careful about the credit cards you are being offered.
It is very easy to get in debt for thousands of dollars during your
first year of college. If you do, you can ruin your credit rating and
become so worried about how to get out of debt that it may affect your
If you are very unhappy, there is help on campus.
Every college has experienced counselors to help you adjust and sort
things out. If you decide to drop out of school, take a leave of
absence—don’t withdraw from the college. This leaves the option open to
return if you decide later on to do so.
Don’t join a fraternity or sorority until the second semester or the sophomore year.
There are enough adjustments during freshman year without adding
rushing, pledging, and joining fraternity or sororities. You’ll be just
as desirable in a year as you are now, and by then you will probably
know what kinds of commitments you want to make.
Your eating and sleeping patterns may change when
you start your new college schedule. Taking vitamins will help you keep
well so you won’t miss classes or parties.