Imagine this: you’re past the final hurdle of the college application process, with the end of which a big pile of your life’s worries have also come to a close. One casual evening, you’re watching YouTube videos and sipping on your coffee, and you see a pop-up in the corner of your laptop screen. It’s the the acceptance offer you’ve been waiting for ever since you applied to your dream college.
Sounds familiar? Even if it doesn’t, would you dare to ask yourself what comes next? It can be pretty daunting, can’t it?
The time spent waiting to hear from reach schools is probably the most stressful time of a young adult’s life, which is exactly why it is instinctual to take for granted and disregard what comes next, in that crucial period of time when you prepare to be a freshman at your desired university, or at least, you should be.
It is only wise to work up to everything in life. It helps you keep your feet firm on the ground, and your hands reaching for whatever is next for you. But to anchor yourself into such a comfortable and convenient position takes thoughtfulness, which can only come from taking into consideration things like, “Am I as ready for college as I ever will be?”
If you think hard on it, you’d probably agree with me when I say no. And however, if you disagree, you wouldn’t want to miss out on even one of these preparatory measures:
- Momentum building: Settling into a culture that is predominantly English-speaking, it is almost a Herculean task for nonnative speakers like us to fit right into the picture, leave alone finding our own niche in the world. This is why, I recommend that you utilize your time well not just for things like going on a college garb shopping spree, but for things that will be your ultimate benefactors in a foreign land:
- Practicing your writing and conversational skills
- Reading up on American general culture (food, lifestyle, social protocols, average American day and pretty much anything and everything that excites you)
- Learning to smile even when you’re internally having a nervous breakdown (trust me, it’s going to go a long way)
- Orientations: This is probably the most obvious thing, but attend all orientation events. If you’re interested in finding out more about this, and I highly recommend that you do, read the article ‘College Checklist: Orientations’.
- While going to college from school is a momentous transition in itself, the transition from going to a school outside of the U.S. to a college in it is even more so. I feel that this makes it imperative for you, the student, to confront one more aspect of college preparation: getting a feel for your professors.
You can do this in probably less than 30 New York minutes with the kind of technology you have at your disposal.
- You may have discussed this with your parents, but even if you are planning to open a new bank account in the country of study, it helps tremendously to get an international debit/credit card in your home country. Among other things, this card will let your family transfer funds to you without additional charges. (Yep! You read that right.)
So even if you think you’re ready for college, think again because you don’t know just what you might remember!