Starting College

Learn how to set yourself up for success when you start college

You're a few months away from embarking on your college career, and you're excited, but also a little worried. There's so much to know and remember. How can you cover it all?

Relax. After all, millions of students before you have had the same worries, but soon found out they mostly worried needlessly. But there are some important things to remember, so here are a few tips for starting college.

Helpful tips for starting college

  1. Make sure to attend freshman orientation
  2. These sessions, generally held in the summer before you start your freshman year of college, are open to incoming students and their parents. They'll be packed with lots of practical information that will put your mind at ease about all the who, what, when and where's of college. You'll get to experience campus life, listen to presentations about how to start financial aid payments, get a feel for the academics and probably even meet with an academic advisor, who will help you select your classes. And there's also a big bonus that few consider ahead of time: you'll meet a few fellow incoming classmates, which will come in handy when school begins.

  3. Contact your roommate before school begins
  4. Being away from home for the first time and learning to live with a non-family member can be stressful enough, even under the best conditions. But when you're meeting the person or persons for the first time a day before starting college classes, you're only needlessly adding more stress to the process. It helps to exchange emails and perhaps a phone chat or two ahead of time. That way you can break the ice, get to know them a little and maybe even coordinate on a couple of major items, like who's got a mini refrigerator?

  5. Check with your school's housing office to see what they provide
  6. Warning: it's typically not much above the bare bones of what you'll need. But it does help to know if there's carpeting in your dorm, or even a throw rug. Does the dorm have air conditioning, or should you bring a fan? You can drill down more deeply on some of this during freshman orientation, which is incredibly helpful to attend.

Learn more about the student loan process with help from Citizens Bank

If you're wondering how to start college on the right foot, make sure that you have the student financing in place so you can reach your educational goals. If you need help covering the gap between federal financial aid (including grants and scholarships) and your expected family contribution, consider private student loans. You can find helpful information about our affordable Citizens Bank TruFit Student Loan™. If you still have questions, call a student loan specialist at 1-800-708-6684, and we'll help walk you through the process.

Additional student loan and college planning resources

What to Look for on a College Campus Visit
Preparing for College
Sorting Through College-Related Mail
Choosing the Right School for You
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Banking For Students
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