14 Things You Need to Know Before Going to College

14 Things You Need to Know Before Going to College

Going to college can be scary and overwhelming. But get ready to enjoy the freedom! We’ve asked parents and students to chime in to write our list of things you need to know before going to college, and here’s what they said.


  1. “College will be the best four years of your life, but don’t be surprised if it takes until sophomore year to really find your footing.”

going to college


  1. “Figure out car maintenance and budgeting. The number of women at college who did not know how to change a flat tire surprised me.”

how to change tire


  1. “Every time you go to the store, pick up something for the dorm — Kleenex, highlighters, any meds — to eliminate costs being so high when you move in.”



  1. “As a former RA — shower caddies, flip flops, and know how to open a mailbox that is like an old locker.”



  1. “Learn proper note taking skills.”

take notes


  1. “Dorm life can be a tough reality. Many places offer a welcome package that parents can send around the start of school/midterms/finals. Always a nice treat.”college care package


  1. “Treat college like a 9-5 job. During those hours, you’re a student like you’re at work…. Get out of your 10:00 class and don’t have another class till 1:00? Study and do home work, not nap.”

work in college


  1. “Apply for scholarships! Rich or poor! Because free money is FREE MONEY!”

free money scholarships


  1. “The underlying purpose of college is gainful employment and financial independence.free money



  1. “Dish soap is not an acceptable substitute for dishwasher soap!”

dish soap in dishwasher


  1. “Find the library, it will come in handy.”

find the library


  1. “You don’t have to go to every party!”

go to parties


  1. “Pick a major that will promise a career/paycheck!”

choose college major


  1. “Join some clubs as quickly as possible (like, Fall semester) – especially if you’re going somewhere you have no friends (yet!). Promise yourself you’ll go to the meetings/activities ten times in a row before you decide to stay in or quit. I swear by the Ten Times rule. The first 9ish times you go somewhere new, it’s usually awkward. By the tenth time, you’ve made some friends, or you know for sure it’s not a fit.”

join clubs in college