top 5 things to learn before you go away to college
Posted : July 2, 2005
Last Updated : March 9, 2015
In college, you will be introduced to many new ideas, opportunities, and endeavors. However, there are certain tasks that you must be familiar with before you go to college. Make sure you know how to do the following before you leave for school.
1. Laundry. If your mom has always done your laundry for you, be sure to ask her to show you how to do it before you move away. You don't want to get ready for class by selecting your daily attire from your laundry bin. Doing laundry is actually very simple once you know how to separate your clothing items. Remember to keep your whites separate from your colored clothing. Wash your non-whites with like colors. Be sure to pre-treat any stains with a stain remover. Use cold water to keep colors from bleeding and to avoid shrinking. Check your clothing labels for when to use hot or warm water. Remember to wash all of your delicate clothing on a gentle cycle. Follow the directions on the bottle for how much detergent to use. When drying clothes, be sure to use an anti-static sheet. Hang delicate items to air dry.
2. Balance a checkbook. Part of becoming an adult is learning how to manage your finances. College may be the first time you will be handling your money without your parents' supervision, so it is crucial for you to learn how to keep track of your finances before you leave for college. If you will be using a debit card, it is imperative that you either keep your receipts or record the transactions as soon as they are complete. If you don't know where you have spent your money or how much you have spent, then it will be hard to keep an accurate balance of your finances. For detailed steps on how to keep an accurate checkbook, google the term "balance a checkbook." Once you have compared all of your returned checks, debit receipts, deposits, etc. with your monthly bank statement, you should contact your bank if there are any discrepancies.
3. Share. If you will be living in a dorm when you go to college, then you need to learn how to share. Dorm rooms are small, so you won't have room for two of the same items that take up a lot of space. You will need to share large items with your roommate, such as a refrigerator, TV, cooking appliances, etc. Some roommates even share food and clothing. If you grew up with a sibling, then you should find it pretty easy to share with your roommate. If you are an only child, you may find it more difficult to share your belongings with someone else. Try to work on that before you leave for college by letting one of your friends borrow a book or an item of clothing.
4. Use a PDA/smartphone/tablet/day-timer/calendar. Being organized is very crucial in college. If you don't have a personal digital assistant (PDA), smartphone, tablet, day-timer, etc., you will have a hard time keeping up with all of your deadlines and endeavors. Use your organizational device to keep track of assignment due dates, test dates, club meetings, social events, and so forth. When you get your syllabus, immediately record the due dates for papers and projects and the dates for tests and quizzes. Never plan an activity without looking at your calendar to see if you have anything else going on for that specific date. Review your organizational device every day, so you won't miss an important due date or meeting.
5. Take notes. In order to perform well in your college classes, you need to be able to take good notes. Most college classes mainly consist of lectures, so a lot of your studying will be from notes that you have taken during the lectures. Professors expect you to have finished your reading assignments before you come to class in order to give you an idea about the lecture in advance. Completing your reading assignments before class is a good idea because you can type or write down an outline of the topic and then modify your notes with your professor's lecture. How you take notes is up to you; just remember to record key points about the topic of interest. If you take good notes and keep up with your reading assignments, then studying before a test should be a breeze for you.
If you are unfamiliar with the above-mentioned undertakings, then ask your parents, older siblings, friends, mentors, teachers, etc. for help. Knowing how to complete these tasks as an entering freshman is crucial.