Congratulations! You just got into the college of your dreams (or your budget) and have paid your deposit. Now you don’t have to stress anymore—relax, breathe easy, and…oh, wait. There’s still an overwhelming number of things that need to be done before you get to campus. But where do you start? Don't worry. We have a good list of things to start with. You don't have to rush into it too soon because you should take the time to celebrate your accomplishment. But when you're ready, here are your next steps.
Keep up the good work
For starters, keep studying! Colleges really do look at your final transcript and take it into heavy consideration, especially if you were offered any merit-based scholarships. If you let senioritis take over and your grades slip, it could result in a lot of financial stress. So just because you've been accepted into your dream college, it doesn't mean it's time to slack. Finish up strong and prove to your new school (and yourself) that you deserve that spot beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Related: Video: 3 Tips to Avoid Senioritis
Apply, apply, apply (for scholarships)
Speaking of financial stress…scholarships! Now that you got into your dream school, this opens a whole new category of school-specific scholarships. Don’t just limit your search to the college’s website—get in touch with your major’s program director. They might have information on scholarships you can apply for or put some sophomore, junior, and senior year scholarships on your radar. Also, keep tabs on scholarship websites such as CollegeXpress.com. Scholarships have deadlines that go well into the summer, so it’s never too late to get started!
Shop ’til you drop
Start buying your off-to-school essentials now! In most cases, going to college means living in a dorm, which means you need to stock up on necessities. This includes bigger things like a minifridge and a microwave plus smaller things like a comforter and desk essentials. If you spread out your purchases over the next few months, it saves the stress of one ginormous and expensive shopping spree. But make sure you check with your roommate and your college’s residence life office before buying big-ticket items—some things may already be supplied or aren’t allowed in your room (which can save yourself some money).
Connect with your roomie
If you don’t already have one, start looking for a roommate now! The earlier you start connecting, the better the relationship you’ll have with your roomie when you finally get to your dorm. Some schools have Facebook groups, or some use a separate system where you set up an account or use a private messaging system organized by the school. It’s super important when looking for a roommate that you are completely honest with yourself. Everyone says they’re super neat, but come on: How often do you really clean your room? How would you feel if your roommate promised they would be clean, then don’t pick up their laundry for three months? Being upfront with those kinds of things will make your future living situation a whole lot better.
Research your new home
Become familiar with the area you’re going to live in. Look for safe ways to and from the dorms, find recreational activities that are popular in the surrounding town, and research the weather. If you go to a school that normally has hot and humid weather, you don’t want to be stuck with just sweaters when you pack for college.
You got into your dream school. Again, congratulations! Now is the time to celebrate your major accomplishment with your family and friends—and then tackle this to-do list. Getting accepted into college is just the beginning of the incredible journey you're about to embark on. Things may slow down for a little while but get ready for it to ramp back up. And good luck on your college adventure!
Start getting ready for college life with the advice in our Student Life section!