Rising College First-Years, Get Ready! Here are some great things you can do Right Now. 

September is still months away, but whether your plan is Early Decision, Early Action, or Regular Decision, there is still plenty for rising college first-years to do to prepare for the fall. Start digging into what your new life will be!

LMS: Get to know what learning management system your school uses and take an online tutorial. Once you’re given your login, whether your school uses Blackboard, Canvas, Moodle, Brightspace, Cypher, or something else, you’ll be required to download the app and know how to use it.

Virtual Tour: Get a thorough look at your new home. This is your chance to collect the valuable information YOU want. Are you passionate about fencing? Take a good look at the piste. Are you a musician? Where are the practice rooms? How do you sign up for them? How close is the library to your dorm? How long will it take you to walk to class? A virtual tour will help you visualize and gain comfort and familiarity with your future. 

Clubs: Being part of a club or organization provides a platform for personal growth and development. Joining a club can also help you hone your time management skills. And clubs are fun. Take a break from your studies, make friends. Join a club.   

Internships: What internships are available? An internship will give you the opportunity to explore a career interest and development new skills. Maybe a study-abroad option will best meet your interests? 

Wellness: Do you practice yoga? What is the best place to practice near your dorm? Is swimming your meditation? What are the pool hours? Do you like to lift weights? Where is the weight-room?

Dining: What are the meal plan options? Are you a vegetarian, lactose intolerant? Are you a coffee snob? A bacon lover? Which cafeteria will best meet your needs?

Reexamine Your Why: Besides the fact that you got accepted, why do you really want to go to your school of choice? What are your aspirations for college? Why? Are you following a dream career? Do you want to make a difference in the world? Are you following your passion? Do you want to become a better critical thinker? Are you yearning for independence? 

Set a timer and journal for fifteen minutes about why you chose the school(s) you chose. Not only does journaling improve memory and problem-solving skills, it reduces stress while increasing motivation and self-awareness. And self-awareness is the foundation of college success. 

Ask: Ask yourself difficult, pointed questions. Listen to Your answers. This is your life. Going to college is the thrill of a lifetime. You have the power to make the most of it.

If you are feeling overwhelmed or need help getting moving, consider enrolling in a summer program