Many high schools have college fairs, so you can also go to yours and check out local college information. But, many other college fairs are held across the country. You can easily find a college fair near you by visiting the National Association for College Admission Counseling website at: http://www.nacacnet.org/MemberPortal/Events/CollegeFairs/. These college fairs give you an excellent opportunity to learn about many colleges all at once. It can be very expensive to visit all of the colleges on your list, so going to a college fair saves you lots of money on travel expenses. You can even pick up brochures, applications and financial aid information for your prospective colleges. Be sure to have any questions you may have ready to ask the college representatives. Also be sure to bring a pen and pad of paper for take notes. You'll be speaking to lots of people and you won't be able to remember everything! Junior year is a hectic time. You're officially an upperclassman now, and a whole slew of new responsibilities are foisted upon you. You probably have your driver's license by now and may be working and going to school simultaneously. While you will certainly be busy, you need to keep in mind your college goals and what you can be doing now to make them a reality. You may feel as though your life is tough enough, but taking AP (Advanced Placement) classes offer students numerous benefits. Not only does it look good to do well in an AP class, but at the end of the year, you'll be given the opportunity to take an AP test. If you pass this test, you'll receive college credit in that course! Just think of it! You'll have college credit before even setting foot on campus! Plus, being consistent from freshman year to senior year with high difficulty level courses shows you are dedicated and committed to your education. When you're a freshman in college, you'll be thankful for the rigorous high school curriculum you took. College is entirely different from high school, so you can look at AP courses as a transition.
You should be notified sometime during the summer of who your roommate is and their contact information. Take some initiative and call them. 99% of the time, they'll be glad you did. Take this time to talk about yourself and ask questions about them. What are their hobbies? Where did they go to school? What are they thinking about majoring in? You get the idea. Getting to know your roommate before you live with them can be helpful in eliminating some of the awkwardness associated with moving in day. You don't have to become best friends over the phone, but try to be open to one another and listen. These first initial talks can really shape your relationship down the road once you are roommates. Try to stay away from controversial topics like religion and politics. Use your best judgment when asking questions and talking in general. It's great to be open and honest, but don't divulge your entire life story. This can be off-putting and make your roommate feel uncomfortable if they don't wish to disclose as much as fast. If, for any reason, you do not think you'll be able to live with the person selected as your roommate, contact the housing department at your college immediately. They typically do their best to make new students feel as comfortable as possible. But be warned: the housing department must meet the needs of thousands of students. Don't be discouraged or insulted if they cannot meet your request. After you've had a few nice chats on the phone with your new roommate, be sure to bring up the topic of the dorm room itself. Who will be bringing what? It's best to distribute the items as evenly as possible so neither of you will feel taken advantage of. One person can bring the TV while the other can bring the stereo. One can bring a bedside lamp while another can bring a chair. You see how this works? You'll both need a computer of your own. It's going to be cramped in your dorm room, but you'll manage so long as you keep an open line of communication. If you are an only child or have never had to share a room with a sibling, this will be an entirely new experience. Just take it day by day and try to enjoy yourself.
Going to college is an entirely new experience. While you may be the kind of person that thinks they can do things on their own, you will need help when it comes to becoming familiar with your new school. Most colleges offer a summer orientation program that shows new incoming freshman around the campus and provides valuable information on how college works. Some things you'll learn at such a workshop include: The location of important buildings and offices, the college's academic requirements, how to register for classes, assistance in registering for classes, tips on getting to know instructors, how to make the most of your college experience, where to go to join clubs and become involved, etc. One of the most important factors of this orientation is the campus tour. Trying to find your classes without having been shown around campus first can be next to impossible. This isn't high school anymore. College campuses are huge and unless you know your way around, it's very easy to get lost. You may have already registered for classes at the summer workshop, or just been given instructions on how to do so at home. If you were merely given instructions, you will need to register for classes on your appointment day. Even though it may say you can register anytime after your appointment date and time, register as close to this time as possible. Incoming freshman and transfer students are on the lowest rung when it comes to registration priority. Your appointment date and time will most likely be scheduled after most of the returning students have had a chance to register. Make sure the classes you register for all count toward your general education requirements. You're going to want to get these courses out of the way as fast as possible so you can begin focusing on your major courses. It is also a good idea to have several back-up classes on hand. There is no guarantee there will be room in the classes you register for. If the class is full or you are put on the wait list, you will need to have a back-up class in mind. For many students, if your enrollment drops below 12 units or below full time, your financial aid will be lowered or dropped! Always be mindful of this. It's tough to get all of the classes you want, but try to make your schedule as varied as possible. Four really difficult classes may not be the best way to start out your college experience. Try to mix up your schedule with a few difficult classes and a few fun-but-still-count-toward-my-degree classes.