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Franklin - Local Town Pages

Transitioning to College

May 29, 2024 06:11PM ● By Chuck Tashjian

Maryline Michel Kulewicz and Tracy Sullivan of College 101 Admissions Consultants

Preparing for the college journey is an exciting time - meeting new friends, experiencing fun adventures, and enjoying a busy schedule that the students have created on their own.  Although adapting to college life might seem daunting at first, students begin to learn how to best juggle their new-found independence while focusing on their studies.  The summer before freshman year is an ideal opportunity to organize, prepare, and ensure a smooth transition to college life.
Here are a few helpful steps for parents and students to review this summer.
1. Consider the legal documents needed, such as, FERPA, Health Care Proxy, HIPAA, Durable Power of Attorney, and if needed, the Psychiatric Advance Directive.  
2. If the student has an Independent Educational Plan (IEP) in place during high school, it does not automatically transfer to college. The college may require additional testing and/or documentation. 
3. The student should continue to check the college portal and their email frequently throughout the summer for any important updates. The student should inform the college of their personal email contact information before their HS graduation.
4. Be aware of the deadlines for tuition bills and any additional requirements. If the student did not apply for need based financial aid through the CSS and FAFSA, the Bursar’s office may need the student to sign a waiver before they release the student’s scholarship award. 
5. Notify the Guidance Counselor of the student’s final college decision and request a final transcript to be sent to college. The student should also request a copy of their transcript for future records.
6. Sign up for the summer student orientation & register for classes at the first opportunity. Tip - when registering for classes, if the student is not an early bird, do not sign up for an 8 am class!  
7. Some colleges will require placement exams for math, science, English, and foreign language - check the college website and deadlines.   
8. Complete the housing & roommate surveys. It is essential that students are clear about their preferences– it will help the college identify well-matched roommates.
9. Make summer appointments for medical physicals and dental check-ups.
10. Register for pre-orientation activities. These programs allow new students to move-in early and connect with a small cohort of peers- great 1st bonding experience. 
11. Coordinate the shopping list for the dorm room with roommates. Ship any items that can be mailed prior to arrival on campus or purchase locally. Check the college website as schools often offer their own services to purchase common items such as sheets, blankets, fans, etc..
12. Establish a bank account on campus or a nearby town; and establish a fund transfer account such as Zelle/Venmo/PayPal.
13. Reach out to your academic advisor and schedule your first appointment.

14. Students should visit their professor’s “Office Hours” early - don’t wait until the day before a test!
15. Visit campus club events to find favorite activities - a great way to stay involved and meet your “people”. 
16. Parents should plan for the fall Parents Weekend. Pre-arrange a nearby hotel and dinner reservations - maybe even with your child’s new friends. 
Message to students:  The first few months of college requires flexibility, resilience, and time management. Part of the process is learning to advocate for yourself and figuring out where to get the help you need. Get your sleep, exercise, and eat well! Take care of your physical and mental health as you expand your network of friends and resources. Give it time and try new experiences. Before long, your campus will be your new home. And nothing in life is permanent! If it is truly the wrong fit campus for you, transferring is always an option. But first give yourself time for the adjustments!  Just bring your best self and enjoy!
Good luck and enjoy the journey!   
College 101 Admissions Consultants LLC. Website:  
Phone: (508) 380-3845.

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