Tips to Prepare for College

prepare for college

With the longer days and warmer afternoons, we know summertime is near... and freshman year isn’t far behind. It’s tempting to imagine a summer filled with mom-washed laundry, 11 a.m. wake up calls, and Netflix binges, but maybe consider a little productivity first.

By spending a few hours now—and even giving up a few hours each week over the summer—you can get yourself organized and be prepared for a productive first year with very little effort. The University of West Alabama (UWA) has provided a few tips to make sure you are well-prepared for your freshman year!

Do Your Fall Planning Now

Start planning for your fall classes now, before you even leave for summer break. Meet with your advisor—and maybe even a professor or two—before everyone gets caught up with final exams, so you can make sure you’re on track with all your electives, pre-requisites, and next steps in your major. Once you have a plan, you can go ahead and register for fall classes now.

Get Your Housing in Order

On-campus housing at colleges is in high demand. The best way to ensure you get your top choice is to apply for housing early... there’s no need to wait and it only takes a few minutes to apply online. If you are living off-campus, this is still a great time to either renew your lease or start investigating other options.

Consider Taking A Summer Class

Taking a class on campus during the summer might seem like a drag, but it can offer some big advantages. Or, if you prefer to go home for the summer, most colleges, including UWA, can accommodate “transient students,” you can complete additional courses away from your main campus—including at your local community college—and still have your courses count.

Get Your Finances in Order

Even if you already have your financing secured for this school year, you’ll likely have to reapply for the summer and for next year. To qualify for summer classes, you’ll have to take a minimum of six hours toward your degree, and you’ll need to register for your classes before you can finalize your paperwork.

Develop A Solid Sleep Routine

Even if you don’t get up at 7 am, this is definitely worth the effort. Not only will it make your summer feel a bit longer if you don’t sleep it away, but you’ll also have an easier time returning to the school routine when the time comes. Try not to get in the habit of napping unless you can continue that at school—though it is hard to resist a little couch time during an afternoon rainstorm every now and then.

Form Good Eating Habits

Drink lots of water, eat your fruits and vegetables... all those things your mom usually encourages you to do anyways. Try to avoid too much caffeine, fast foods, and sweets. By keeping up good eating habits—or establishing them—while you’re home for the summer, you can avoid feeling sluggish and gaining unwanted pounds.

Stay Moderately Active

Resist the temptation to become a couch potato over the summer. Even just a 30-minute walk each day will help you maintain your physical and your mental health. Walking, especially outdoors, can improve your mood, help you sleep, and keep you fit. If you’re feeling really ambitious, summer break can be a good time to implement some new habits, too. Take a yoga class, start cycling or running, try hiking, or take up tennis.

These few simple things will make it much easier to enjoy your summer break... if nothing else, it will make you feel a little less guilty those times you do decide to stay in bed all day or kill ten hours watching movies on the Hallmark Channel. After all, even doing nothing gets boring after a while.

For more insight into how you can do something that matters at UWA any time of year, visit

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