Rachel Mitchell, November 2019
Going to college can be intimidating because it’s easy to think you haven’t thought of everything. No matter how many articles you’ve read or how many checklists you’ve made there will be a little bit of uncertainty. I’m here to say that is completely OK and totally normal. I have a few things from my own experience that might be helpful to you in preparing for college.
The best advice I can offer is to get organized. I mean that in pretty much every sense of the word. Make sure you keep the letters the college has sent in a file, so they’re all in one place. Look at your classes and write down the buildings and room numbers, put that in your phone somewhere and in a planner. Have the things you want to do, and write down their schedules so you can visit it frequently. Having something to look forward to will help with the transition and make it a little easier and more exciting. Look at what might be fun to do in Chadron or around the area. Look at the website and see what events might be happening on campus to give you something to look forward to.
One of the best things I did was writing goals on sticky notes or my white board so I could always see them. Keeping those goals visible while you get ready for college will remind you that it is what you want to do. Keeps attainable goals visible for the short term and maybe one or two that are long term goals. Staying organized and excited is helpful in making this tricky transition a little easier. Take small steps toward those goals and don’t try to leap.
One of the best things I did for myself was taking time to visit campus. When I visited the campus all of it seemed a little more real and not as scary. I was able to see the layout of the college, what buildings I would be in the most, and understand how everything worked a little more so when I showed up on the first day I wasn’t completely lost. I was also able to ask as many questions as I needed to. I had brought a few questions just to make sure I wouldn’t forget them when I got to CSC and had a few answers from someone who actually has been on campus for a while. I also made a point to meet with my advisor and potential professors. From my experience, professors are excited about college and teaching students. Take advantage of that. Introduce yourself, and maybe ask a question of what the classes may be like. Being able to see the campus with my own eyes and meeting people made coming to college easier.
Unfortunately, I know some students can’t make college campus visits but that does not put those students at a complete loss. I also highly recommend sending emails or calling the campus with any questions you might have. One of the things that completely blew me away about Chadron State College was how speedy everyone replied and how helpful they were. I sent out many emails with big and little questions and all of them got answered. Most of the time CSC answered within the same day. When it came to phone calls, I figured I’d be on the phone all day but most of the staff I called knew what the answer was. However, if they didn’t, they would say “I’m not quite sure but let me ask someone who might,” and proceed to find the answer for me. There is no shame in emailing even the smallest questions. Asking all your questions and getting answers will relieve a great amount of stress and hopefully some of the anxiety of moving. Communicating with the campus was relatively easy and I highly recommend doing it if you have any questions at all.
These are just a few of the things that were beneficial for me getting ready for college. They helped me realize that college is not that scary and it’s just another step in life. Take the time to figure what is important to you and that will help ease your nerves about the whole experience. These are all good ways to start preparing for college and to know what might be useful to think about when coming to Chadron State College.