4 Things Your Child Should Know to Prepare for College

4 Things Your Child Should Know to Prepare for College

It’s been a long-time coming, but your baby has finally graduated high school and is getting ready to leave the nest and go to college. You couldn’t be more proud, excited, sad, and terrified all at the same time, but you know that it’s their time now. So, being the awesome parent that you are, you do your research and try to help prepare your child for this new chapter in their life.


Here are four things I wish I would have known when I first went to college that every new freshman should know.


Avoid textbooks from the university store


Unless there is no other place to get your textbooks, avoid the university store. The prices are likely way marked up and there is usually at least one really good second hand textbook store near every university. Search for used textbook stores in the area or go on Amazon and rent textbooks. This could easily save you a couple hundred dollars of hard-earned scholarship money.


Another option you might try is finding a university “buy/sell/trade” Facebook group. Join it and ask around to see if anyone is selling their textbooks for the classes you are taking. Most students are willing to negotiate prices to pocket a little cash too.


Apply to various scholarships


Most high school guidance counselors know of tons of scholarship opportunities that high school seniors can apply for. Apply for as many and all the qualify for you. Chances are, there are some that not many students have looked into, and that will make you more likely to get it. Scholarships are a great way to help you get through the school you want to go to without a lot of debt. The university you go to likely has scholarship opportunities as well, whether academic, need-based, or even for extracurriculars like sports or music. Many universities offer academic scholarships, which students can qualify for simply by keeping good grades – some even offer full-tuition for a 4.0 GPA!


Get a roommate


The idea of living with a roommate, especially a complete stranger can be really scary. But it can also be the best experience for a new freshman. College can be a really lonely place, so living with a roommate can help with that. It’s likely that your new roommate is feeling a lot of the same emotions that you are when it comes to starting brand new again. And it’s very likely that this person could become your new best friend.


Many approved student housing options pair students up with roommates in their dorms or student apartments. A lot of these will also allow you to sign up for housing together if you have a friend who is going to the same school as you.


Research professors before signing up for their class


A bad professor can make or break your college experience – at least the in-class portion of it. There are sites available like RateMyProfessor.com where past students go to leave reviews of the professors they had to help other students find a good professor when they are registering for classes.


Now, every person is different, so you might like a professor that someone else didn’t. But it’s a good resource to help you find a class that you will enjoy when the same freshman required classes are offered by five different professors.

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