Preparing for College

Contributor: Stefani Allegretti. Lesson ID: 13110

Congratulations! You are about to start college. Now what? Master some of the life skills you will need to have a successful year at college and beyond!


Practical Life Skills, Preparing for College

Life Skills
learning style
Auditory, Kinesthetic, Visual
personality style
Grade Level
High School (9-12)
Lesson Type
Quick Query

Lesson Plan - Get It!

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You've done it! All of that studying and hard work paid off, and you are headed to college.

  • Now what?

Preparing to go to college can seem like a daunting and sometimes overwhelming feat! But it doesn't have to be. In this lesson, you'll learn about some essential skills that will help prepare you for this important transition from high school to college.

For many, college marks the beginning of adult life. It is probably the first time you have lived on your own away from your parents. It is a time when you become responsible for making and buying your own food, registering for your classes, going to your classes, studying, doing your own laundry, and ultimately graduating and starting your career! Whew!

  • So, how can you prepare for this important life transition?

Harvard University Quad

First, learn how to manage the essentials on your own.

There are certain life skills that will help prepare you for college. The first skill revolves around food! Knowing how to prepare your own food, shop for food, and find accessible restaurants on campus is essential to college life and life in general.

Before you get to campus, try grocery shopping on a budget. Shop for foods that you can make in a microwave or store in a mini-refrigerator. Most college dorms allow students to bring these types of appliances. They can be very useful, economical, and a great time saver. Read Groceries 101: The College Freshman's Shopping List, by Steven Holbrook for U.S. News & World Report, for some great tips.

food shopping

If you live on campus as a college student, you will have access to many college restaurants and eateries. Usually, students have a meal plan. A budgeted amount of funds are added to a student ID card and can be used to buy meals and food. Details about meal plans should be covered during your student orientation; however, if you want to be prepared, you can look up this information on your college's website in advance.

cafeteria food

Another essential life skill that will prepare you for college is doing your own laundry. Most colleges have laundry services available. As strange as it may seem to some of you, doing laundry is a new endeavor for some students! So, this is an important life skill you can master before you go to college if you don't know how to do your own laundry already.

Check out these 7 College Dorm Laundry Tips by Mary Marlowe Leverette at The Spruce. Sounds easy enough, right? Many colleges also provide tips on how to properly use their laundry services. Now, your college may be slightly different; but watch How to do Laundry at Sarah Lawrence College from Residence Life for step-by-step laundry instruction!

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Another way you can prepare for college is to learn how to manage your time well. In college, you will have a packed schedule. If you have a full course load, you will have between four and five classes to manage along with assignments, extracurricular activities, possibly an internship, part-time job, and more. So time-management skills are very important.

swinging pocket watches

You can prepare for college by managing your own schedule during your senior year in high school or during the summer before you go to college. Explore four different time-management methods with How to Manage Your Time in College by Trudi Griffin, LPC for wikiHow.

  • Which method do you think would work best for you?

Lastly, there are a few important items to research to prepare for college.

First, learn how to register for your classes. This may require you to learn some new technical skills, since many colleges use different course registration software applications.

Next, search for your college's academic calendar in advance. This will provide you with tons of important information about semester start and end dates, school closings, midterms, finals, and much more.

academic calendar

Great work in the Get It! Section. Now let's move on to Got it? section and see how prepared you are!

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