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You've Accepted an Offer of Admission - Now What?

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You've Accepted an Offer of Admission - Now What?

You’ve mailed your deposit check and accepted an offer of admission from the college of your choice. The long, drawn out college admissions process is over and you have turned a page in your education book. The next step: college. And with it comes excitement, anticipation and even anxiety. But the next three months should give you an opportunity to prepare for the next step in your life.

Take the time to enjoy your graduation. You have completed twelve years of education and are ready to move forward to college. It’s quite an accomplishment and you should be proud of yourself. Bask in the glory, enjoy the parties, and show gratitude for the gifts. Then, it’s time to start looking toward the future.

Cement Your Relationships

This should be your number one priority. Allocate a large portion of your summer time to the people closest to you. They are the reason you have achieved this milestone in your life. You will be surprised by how much you will miss them your first few weeks of college. This will also help them ease into the reality of being without you, something parents often struggle with.

Get a Head Start on College Reading

Get a head start on your college reading. Once you register and get your schedule, look at the course syllabus and start on the reading assignments. There will be so much to do your first few weeks of college: getting settled into your dorm, making new friends, and attending new classes. Having a leg up on the reading assignments can keep you from feeling so overwhelmed.

Gather Necessary Papers & Documentation

Gather all your important information from high school and put it in a folder and on a flash drive. Get a copy of your final transcript, along with any AP classes and test results and/or dual credit information. You will need these when you register with the college. While you’re at it, save your high school papers, tests and notes; you might need to brush up on some information you learned. Gather teacher or mentor contacts that might be helpful during those first few months of college.

Connect with Your Future Roommate

Gone are the days when you waited to arrive on campus to meet your roommate. Once you know who your roommate is, make contact with a phone call, text or on social media. Coordinate dorm items, chat about your likes and dislikes, and even talk about expectations you might have when living together. Knowing your roommate before you arrive on campus will help you feel less alone, giving you at least one friend to hang with during the first few days on campus.

Go to Freshman Orientation

Most colleges have new student orientation, and some even provide an orientation for the parents. Make it your goal to attend this event. Not only will it help familiarize you with the campus, you will have an opportunity to meet your advisor and register for classes. Your parents will have a chance to meet faculty and staff, along with other parents. The college will help both of you transition into college life at this event, giving you an opportunity to ask questions. Students also have the chance to meet other incoming freshmen and participate in activities.

These are exciting times. Not only are you closing the door to high school, but you are opening the door to a new adventure. Most college students will tell you their college experience shapes who they are and it’s where they make lifelong friends. Before you step into a new life, do some simple preparation and your transition will be much easier.

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Suzanne Shaffer counsels parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation. Her Parenting for College blog offers timely college tips for parents and students, as well as providing parents with the resources necessary to help their college-bound teens navigate the college maze.

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