Tips to know before heading off to college

So the time has come, has it? You’ve spent four years with the same routine, the same classmates and teachers, creating the best memories together. And now, your high school career has finally come to an end. But as one door closes, a new adventure begins — this time, in college!  

Understandably, some of you may have so many questions as you go head-first into unfamiliar territory. Though everyone’s journey will vary, we’ve got some advice that will assist you during this big transition and help keep you balanced in college life.

Hold on to Your Money

It’s rare to manage a part-time job and attend school full time. The best way to excel academically is to budget, save, and ask yourself before every single purchase: “Is this item worth it?” Trust us, you’ll need the extra pocket change for unexpected expenses, including college parking tickets (which rarely get dismissed). 


 It’s a vague, yet important word. When it comes to your classes and assignments,  stay engaged and take part in as much as you can. After all, you’re paying for these courses. Have extra credit outside the classroom setting? Participate! If you can fit in a club or activity in your schedule, do it! College grading scales are very different compared to high school. In high school, teachers and coaches guide you automatically. In college, your engagement determines your results. What you put into it is what you get out of it.

You Don’t Need That Many Clothes

 When packing for college, you’ll want to bring everything with you. Our homes have everything we need to feel relaxed and comfortable. We understand the thought process you’re having, but rest assured that you don’t actually have to bring everything. Once you are halfway into your first semester, you’ll get into the swing of things! When it comes to clothes, aim for comfort instead (around mid-terms, some folks even wear pajamas to class). Bring a couple of suitable outfits for special events and downtime. 

Amazon is Your BFF

Textbooks are expensive. Trusted websites like Chegg and Amazon will be your best friend for buying them used. If you want more bang for your buck, we recommend price matching your textbooks from the campus library to online secondary sources. Amazon even has renting options, which most of the time, are cheaper than the rental options your campus library offers. It is vital to check the shipment arrival date as well. Most professors allow students the first week of the semester to get books, but this doesn’t mean we recommend procrastination. Get them while you can before they sell out!

It’s Okay to Change Your Mind

Many college students fear failure, as their money is at stake and they don’t want to  waste it. But don’t let this fear prevent you from changing majors or taking a semester off if you haven’t found the right fit. Many students encounter these obstacles along the way.  On a larger scale, sometimes the university just isn’t the right fit for you. As long as you maintain good grades while enrolled, you can still transfer to somewhere that suits your needs and wants. Just be sure to check to see which credits will transfer. 

Sometimes students get to college and decide to pursue vocational studies or a career instead. Remember: This is your future and career, and you’ll know which fit feels right — don’t let anyone else decide that for you. 

No matter what route you take, you’ll excel, and we can’t wait to cheer you on! Congratulations to the Class of 2022! The McDowell County Student Pack crew wishes each of you a prosperous future!

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