While at Sundance College we have program starts every month of the year, for many others, September marks the beginning of the college year.
This time of year brings with it lots of planning, anticipation, and dreams for the future. To make the transition as smooth as possible, here is a college preparation checklist for you to follow. In the coming weeks, work on checking each of these off your list so you can begin your college journey focused and excited.
1. Set Career & Education Goals
When preparing for college, it is smart to outline your long-term, midterm, and short-term goals. These are often more intertwined than we realize, and setting goals helps to prioritize and remain motivated and committed to your college success.
Often your long-term goals (e.g., the kind of career you want) guide your mid-term goals (getting the right education for that career), and your short-term goals (such as doing well on an exam) become steps for reaching those larger goals. Thinking about your goals in this way helps you realize how even the little things you do every day can keep you moving toward your dream life.
2. Create a Routine
College is all about balancing your priorities – classes, studying, social life, family, and work – and setting regular habits can help you stay at the top of your game. Start by establishing your weekly social, family, and work commitments and ensuring each is scheduled to fit around your new college program. By creating a routine for the coming days and weeks, you will avoid unnecessary stress and find that your academic journey will be more fulfilling.
3. Create a Study Space
Whether you are taking an online program or you need some space at home to work on your classroom course material and exam prep, it is very important to set up a dedicated learning environment for studying. Setting up a regular workspace or office will help you to stay organized and will boost productivity.
Your workspace can be your kitchen table, the spare bedroom, or a quiet corner of the house; it’s important to determine what type of environment will work best for you, so experiment with different set-ups to discover which type of setting suits you best. Get a nice desk and supportive chair and try your best to limit your distractions so you can make the most of your study time.
4. Buy Supplies
First and foremost, in order to be successful in your college program, you’re going to need a laptop. At Sundance College, we offer a laptop program to all of our students. Additionally, you will need a notebook and pens, for taking notes in class. A reusable water bottle is a great college essential as hydration has been proven to enhance cognitive function!
5. Check-In With Your Support Network
It is beneficial for every student to have a support network around them for those harder days. Whether it be your parents, your spouse, or some close friends, don’t be afraid to ask for help now and again. Asking people to take some responsibilities off your plate so you can focus on an upcoming exam or a particularly challenging module, allows you to focus on bettering your life and the lives of the ones you love.
6. Prepare Yourself Socially
Whether you're taking classes in-person or online, it's a good idea to introduce yourself to your instructors from the beginning. This will make asking questions and seeking advice easier and more comfortable for you. It is also a great way to network as your instructors are professionals in your field of choice. Check out our article, 6 Reasons to Go to College, to learn more about the importance of networking.
College is also an exciting place to make friends with similar interests. Don't be afraid to befriend other students, study together, exchange notes, and build a network of support.
7. Create a Budget
Don't let financial stress get in the way of your academic learning. Before you begin the college semester, be sure to create a monthly budget, that includes any transportation or childcare costs and financial aid details, so that once you earn your diploma, you are in a stable financial position. To learn more about setting up a budget, check out our article Budgeting for College Students.
8. Connect With Your College Online
As you prepare to start your college program, make sure to connect with your college on their social media platforms; follow their Instagram and Facebook pages for updates on events, news, contests, and more. Following your college’s social media channels is also a great way to connect with other students that you may share a common interest with.
Earn Your Diploma at Sundance College!
All of the tips to prepare for college work in tandem with one another to ensure you are prepared and excited to start your academic journey.
At Sundance College, we offer accelerated, instructor-led programs that prepare you for a fulfilling, new career. Additionally, our full range of Career Services further prepares you to graduate with the necessary skills and confidence to start your new profession. If you’ve been dreaming about a new career and that one-of-a-kind college experience, start making changes today by visiting our website and enrolling in one of our Diploma programs!