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How to Prepare for Freshman Year of College

Congratulations: you got into college! That is a HUGE accomplishment. And while the big move is still months away, there are some things you can do this summer to prepare. (Yes, those college forms sent via mail are meant to be filled out!) There are also some logistics to think about once you arrive on campus (such as finding the nearest coffee shop to your dorm room). Check out a few of our tips, so you’re armed and ready to tackle those first few weeks of classes. And remember to have fun!


  1. Fill out and return any college forms sent to you ASAP. Why? You’ll more likely get your first choice dorm, the right meal plan and pay tuition on time.

  2. Check out the New Student section of your college’s website. It’s there to answer all FAQs.

  3. Sign up for freshman orientation and any pre-orientations. This is the best way to meet other freshman and it will help relieve any anxiety about the first week. Plus, some of the pre-orientations can include fun trips and cool seminars!

  4. Book travel and hotel as soon as you have orientation and school start dates. You and your parents don’t want to be left with “no vacancies” and sky-rocket prices.

  5. Get a hold of your roommate. Get acquainted. Find out who is bringing what for the dorm room.

  6. Find out if your college has any special deals with UPS, FedEx or USPS before you ship all your stuff. Click here to get an idea of what to bring/ buy for college.

  7. Discuss a college budget with your parents. Even if you are receiving some financial aid, you still need to set aside some funds for the occasional movie trips, dinners outside the dorm, haircuts and trips home to see family and friends.

Once You Arrive On Campus:

  1. Unpack! Your parents want to help you get settled, and that includes unloading all of those boxes and shopping for last minute necessities.

  2. Locate the nearest campus computer facilities and WiFi spots to your dorm room. Check out the library, workout spaces, coffee shops and student hangouts. You’ll be spending A LOT of time at all of these locations.

  3. Register for classes that fit your interests and schedule. Sign up for a light load for the first semester/quarter (12 units) so that you have time to adapt to your new college life.

  4. Get to the bookstore early. Getting into a class does not guarantee access to required books — it’s common for campus stores to sell out of books. Opt for used books in great condition over brand new ones; every little bit of money-saving helps.


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