Prepare for Your First Year of College Photo: Adobe Stock Images

For many incoming college freshman preparing for the first day of classes can be both exciting and nerve-wrecking. Transitioning from high school is a major milestone in itself.

From gaining independence from your parents to searching for career development assistance, staying prepared is key to having a successful start to the school year.

Here are five tips to get you ready for college success.

Research college majors

It’s always good to follow your dreams, but how timely or costly will that be? College is an major investment and there are certain majors that will give you a return on investment if researched properly. If you are struggling to figure out what to study in your first year, experts encourage students to find an academic adviser to understand their pathway to graduation.

Create a budget

They say money isn’t the key to happiness but it sure does make like comfortable and easier, and being a broke college student IS NOT IT. Have a conversation with your parents about budgeting major school expenses such as books, transportation, food, extracurricular activities, and technology. There are many reputable outlets online that share financial resources, money saving apps, and worksheets, to keep you on track.

Utilize life skills

This is a great time to apply those home economics skills as you embark on your new life of independence. There is a common perception about college and that is if it doesn’t have a vocational purpose it won’t be beneficial. Outside of the goal to find a career job, your college experience will teach how to be functioning adult and a thriving part of the community. Money management, cooking, budgeting, doing taxes are just a few life skills to learn.

Stay connected with financial aid office

Financial situations change over time and when they do, contact your financial aid office immediately. Depending on where you go to school, college can have a pretty hefty price tag. Check for the different type of grant/ scholarship opportunities, or apply for a resident assistant position to off set the costs of tuition. Always ask for financial support if needed.

Stay healthy

All this talk of the resurgence of COVID-19 cases and Monkeypox state of emergencies can make you worry about being in close proximity of people. Always prioritize your self-care. Schedule doctors visit, exercise, eat healthy and regularly, because the course work will stress you out. If you do get sick at school, contact your campus clinic immediately and get checked.

Laura Onyeneho

I cover Houston's education system as it relates to the Black community for the Defender as a Report for America corps member. I'm a multimedia journalist and have reported on social, cultural, lifestyle,...