So, you have decided that you are going away to college, that is great, but do you have any idea how to carry this plan to fruition? It is not uncommon for college to be the suggested natural next step for students once high school is over however often the very same people that are providing this suggestion are not providing a lot of guidance. As with many significant life decisions you can expect a great deal of change once you begin attending school. Below are some general areas that require mental and tangible preparations so that you are not standing on campus wide eyed and confused on your first day.
The biggest cost of attending college, is attending college. Your tuition costs are without a doubt going to be the most significant financial consideration you will need to make so you should prepare to hear a lot of new language and learn a lot of new money management skills as you figure out how to finance your education. Borrowing money in the form of student loans is so common, which is great because with commonality comes options.
The top two avenues for acquiring borrowed money for college are federal student loans and private student loans. Get involved in the decision-making process, having the guidance of a trusted loved one or professional is a key component, but the fact remains that these are your loans, they will follow your life post-graduation, so you need to understand exactly what that means and how that will look. It is easy to think to yourself that repayment is so far away you will deal with it then, but if you take that approach, you are doing yourself a disservice. Although repayment is far off, the day you sign that contract, the terms are set, so you need to be on board with everything before you make that commitment.
If you have decided to live away from home while you attend college, you need to prepare for communal living. That can include living in the dorms, renting student housing on or off campus, or even living inside a sorority or fraternity house. Dorm life can be exciting because typically the residents are all around your same age and collegiate level. There are often organized social activities or opportunities for group study, and you are likely within walking distance to your classes.
There are less glamourous aspects of communal living though so be prepared to experience the things nobody tells you about living in halls. A spoiler alert is that they are not that bad. The important thing to remember is that nothing is perfect, and this is no exception. You will need to adjust and sacrifice some comforts of home as you make this living transition. Just remember to be honest with yourself about knowing the difference between elements that are simply not your preference and those that require actual attention.
Plenty of growth happens during these student years, prioritize learning ways to deal with change in any capacity. Although you cannot possibly prepare for exactly what that means for your life, you should prepare to leave school in a different way than which you entered it. Personal confidence, friendships, lifestyle habits, goals for the future, these are all great examples of areas that will evolve as you evolve and become the next best version of yourself.