Did you know that there are 16.6 million undergraduate college students in the United States each year?
That’s a lot of people preparing to head to university! Like those other students, you need to consider where you will live, prepare to pay for your schooling, and worry about a whole host of other things.
If you’re prepping for college, continue reading to learn five things to consider throughout your planning for university.
1. Find a Place to Live
One of the first things you should take care of is finding a university accommodation to live in. If you wait too long, places can fill up, or you can end up with roommates you don’t get along with.
Make this your priority so you can find a place you’ll be happy living in. Take the time to consider if you’d like to live on campus or off-campus in student housing.
There are pros and cons to each, but generally, living off-campus provides you with more freedom, more living space, and premium options like modernized apartments and the ability to cook at home.
The place you choose to live sets the tone for your entire university experience. You need a place you feel comfortable to relax at night, complete coursework and spend hours studying, and hang out with friends too!
Check out Aggie Square Apartments to see a beautiful example of what off-campus living can be like for you.
2. Get Your Finances in Order
Another critical part of university planning is figuring out your finances. Now that you have your living situation secured and you know how much you’ll be paying for it, you have a better idea of what your monthly expenses will be.
Now is the time to set up a bank account with a local bank if you haven’t already. It’s also a great time to sit down and write out your expenses so you can determine if you need to get a job or if your savings will cover you.
Be sure to keep track of everything you’ll be spending right down to a Netflix subscription or weekly pizza night. The goal here is to get an accurate idea of what you can expect to pay. Some places offer student discounts you should apply now too!
Some student loans allow you to use extra money to pay for living expenses, including food, so make sure to take this money into account here too. Having an overview of your expenses now will save you from worrying in the future.
3. Go Over Your Courses
If you’ve paid your course fees at this point, you know which classes you’re taking and what to expect from them.
Taking the time to go through them again and getting to know your schedule in detail can mentally prepare you for the coming semester. Now is the time to double-check if there’s any pre-reading you need to do before class begins.
When you have the time, walking to find where your classes are ahead of time can help you get familiar with campus and prevent you from being late on day one.
It’s also a great time to find your professor’s contact information, so you have it on hand in case of an emergency. Waiting until one comes along and scrambling for their email puts unnecessary stress on yourself.
4. Check Your Health
This step is essential if you’re moving somewhere far away to attend university. Chances are you don’t have a doctor sorted out there, so scheduling a visit to ensure you’re in tip-top shape is crucial.
Heading to the doctor before you go also gives you a chance to sort out any medications you take, get refills arranged, and switch your pharmacy to one near your campus.
Most universities also require proof of your vaccinations and a recent physical. Your doctor should be able to fax or email this information to the health office at your school. This is one more task taken off your to-do list!
5. Get To Know the Area
Moving to a new place for school can feel overwhelming at first, especially if you don’t know where anything is. Take some time before school starts to familiarize yourself with the area and figure out where key places are.
Some places you might want to look for are:
- The nearest hospital or urgent care
- A local doctor, dentist, etc.
- The closest coffee shops
- Fun and unique places to check out
- Outdoor areas to take walks
- A grocery store
- Your new bank/ATM
- Public transportation areas
Knowing where these things are can help you feel more comfortable with the move. It’s important to remember you’re going to university to learn, but meeting new people and discovering new places is all part of the adventure.
Already having places in mind for coffee, entertainment, studying, etc., can help you make new friends more quickly and give you a place to escape to if you want to leave your housing.
Planning for University in Five Steps
There are many things that go into planning for university, but this article touched on five crucial things to keep in mind before you leave.
If you take the time to sort your living situation, finances, coursework, health and get to know the area along the way, you’ll be set up for success. Getting these things taken care of leaves you more time to adjust to college life and start your classes off on the right foot!
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