By: Sherpa Marisa Borreggine
Campus Sherpa Staff Writer, University of Washington
1. DO: Celebrate!
Post all those pictures of your campus, of you and your mom crying over your acceptance letter, of your massive collection of college sweatshirts. You’ve earned it!
2. DON’T: Ask your peers for the list of places they did and didn’t get into.
As you probably know, this is a stressful time for everyone! Sometimes your friends don’t get into their dream school, and that’s the last thing they want to talk about. Keep it light and congratulate everyone on wherever they decide to go!
3. DO: Get A Summer Job!
Oh, trust me, you’re gonna need the extra cash. College is the time for late-night Thai food, clothes for the weather you didn’t expect (yeah, I’m talking about you Michigan), and little odds and ends like dorm decorations, books, concerts. Do yourself a favor!
4. DON’T: Give in to “Senioritis.”
Yeah, your dreams have been achieved, all you’ve been working for has paid off, but at the risk of sounding like your parents: Keep going! You can get that acceptance taken away if your grades slip too much, plus, when you’re farther into your college career and start rolling your eyes at the freshmen, you’re going to look back and thank your Senior Year English teacher for not absolutely losing it on you guys.
5. DO: Get organized!
Living in a dorm means less space, but also a blank slate for you to decorate. Decide early what you want to hang up and bring along, and make a list! You need to decide, especially if you’re going out of state, what you’re shipping and what you’re flying/driving up. Tip: bring the essentials and your decorations only. You don’t want your room to be overflowing because you spend a LOT of your time there and want to be able to focus!
6. DON’T: Leave it up to chance.
If your school has a forum to find roommates on, USE IT! The last thing you want is rooming with someone you just can’t vibe with. That’s not to say there aren’t plenty of people who have gotten random roommates and found a best friend, but moving is already scary enough—don’t you want someone you can call a friend there with you?
7. DO: Read the course catalog.
Yes, this one might just be for us neurotics out there, but if you take general education classes earlier you won’t ever have to worry about graduating on time. A good strategy is to take two required classes and one fun one a quarter (or semester) to buffer all that hard work. My university offers a lot of for-credit fun classes like steel drums, glass-blowing, and medieval mysteries.
8. DON’T: Be mean to your mom
I know this may seem irrelevant now, but all summer you’re going to be so ready to start your life as a college kid, and your parents might not be ready to let you go. Give them a break! They love you and will miss you, and if you don’t hang out with them your last summer at home, you’re going to be the most homesick of them all when you get to school.
9. DO: Go to your favorite hometown place one last time.
You won’t regret it when the nostalgia kicks in. It could be the top of your favorite hill, a bowling alley with your friends, or even just a bookstore. It’s going to feel a lot sweeter the first time you come back home.
10. DON’T: Here’s the big one. Don’t WORRY.
Millions of people before you have done this and made it out alive. This could easily be the beginning of the most exciting years of your life—don’t get psyched out. Get excited
PRO TIP: DO Talk to current students to help make your decision!
Don’t know anyone at your prospective school? We got you covered! Campus Sherpawill connect you with current students who share YOUR interests. Get the unscripted and behind-the-scenes scoop of what makes each of your options different!