How to Prepare for Your First Year of College During Lockdown

It's safe to say we're all stressed out by and disappointed in the curtain situation, but those that were set to experience major milestones this year are arguably towards the top of the list. Graduations have been cancelled, celebrations are off, and many of you feel stiffed by the lack of recognition for all that you've accomplished so far. For high school graduates-to-be, it's also a scary time to be planning for your future. Accepted student days and academic sit-ins at colleges and universities may have been canceled, but there are many ways that students can continue preparing for their first years of college. Here are the top five ways that students can stay on top of making the transition from high school to college, while still maintaining the practice of social distancing. 

woman typing on a laptop

Be vigilant of your email.

Building a strong foundation of communication with academic counselors and advisors is crucial to making the transition as smooth as possible. Students must be vigilant about checking their emails every day, because you never know what important information you might find in a newsletter or an orientation. 

Take advantage of Zoom.

Zoom is a virtual conferencing app that many college professors and academic advisors have adopted in order to stay in touch with their students. Emailing your counselors and advisors to schedule virtual meetings on Zoom is a great substitute for meeting in person, and it proves your commitment to being organized and informed. 

Keep up to date on announcements. 

Bookmark your college or university’s web page and log into the student portal of your school to check for updates. Updated deadlines for required forms, payments, loan applications, housing preferences, and more will generally be posted here. Many schools also offer discussion boards where you can get to know other members of the incoming class or ask questions to current students. 

Check for waivers and authorization forms.

Authorization forms regarding immunizations and student insurance waivers are generally required in order for students to secure their enrollment, even if they are taking classes virtually. Students should be checking emails and reading through university guidelines to make sure that their authorization has been secured. 

Read your university's handbook. 

If students have questions that they planned to ask on Admissions Day, it's highly likely that their college or university answers those questions in the university handbook. Downloading handbooks and reading them can be an incredibly useful tool for finding out the answers to questions students may have been saving for their college visits, and will help you get ahead of the game by knowing what your school's policies entail.

 

Preparing for college already required effort and diligence, but thos requirements feel like they've increased tenfold recently with the uncertainty of when classes will return to normal. But with the right attitude and resources, any student can make it work. Research and communication skills are crucial parts of ensuring that the transition from high school to college goes as smoothly as possible, and right now is the best time to hone those skills.