Start preparing for college early to save yourself from headache later

Rachel Sandstrom

A beneficial first step to preparing for college is sorting out your options. If you aren’t sure what college immediately grabs your attention, research in-state colleges that check off a couple items that you want your college to have. Perhaps spend a little time sifting through those hundreds of college emails you have lying in your inbox waiting to be opened. Maybe instead of immediately throwing away college letters, open them first and read what they have to say. This may help you narrow your search down to colleges that you actually like.
Photo credit: Rachel Sandstrom

Starting to plan for college at the tail end of your high school career is a surefire way to create lots of late nights trying to figure out what to write your college essay about because you realized nothing interesting has ever happened to you. Luckily, there is a simple remedy for this, and that is start preparing earlier in high school, maybe even as early as sophomore year. You’ll never regret preparing early for something, only good things can come out of your overpreparedness. 

Nobody wants added stress in their lives but if you don’t start preparing for college early on I can promise you you will have an abundance of it. You will find yourself stuck because so many things to prepare have piled up over the years and you now don’t know where to start. Between taking college tours and picking which colleges are best for you, applying for financial aid and scholarships, and choosing what you’re good at in life to pick a major you’ll feel like there isn’t a light at the end of the tunnel. 

By doing things such as touring colleges in your freshman and sophomore years, researching those colleges to find out the best programs and classes they offer, and focusing on things that make you happy to get an idea on what you’re good at all early on in your high school life, the stack of to do’s for college will be smaller. Junior student Krysta Schwab agrees if you take these steps, “You won’t have to rush with important details and maybe find out where you want to go sooner.” 

In addition to the stress created by putting off these tasks, going from high school to college is a huge change. It’s one that takes a lot of planning in order to get acclimated in this new way of life smoothly and quickly. There’s a lot of changes that being a college student entails. For starters, you will most likely be living on your own away from home so you won’t have your parents to help you or remind you of things. You have to start being independent and learning how to fend for yourself. Your college professors won’t hunt you down to turn an assignment in like your high school teachers do. If you don’t hand in an assignment you get a zero, simple as that. You have to be on top of your school work and “start forming good study habits now,” as stated by sophomore college student Hannah Sandstrom in order to stay ahead and never fall behind.

You may think you have a lot of time before college but mark my words, you will regret not preparing early on. You will be so unprepared for what lies ahead you’ll think college is too hard or not for you when in reality, you’re just stressed because you jumped into college head first without taking the necessary steps to prepare early on in high school. However, don’t feel overwhelmed by this article. Now you may be thinking, well what are my first steps? Refer to this article for 7 simple steps on how to properly start preparing now.