After studying in a school for more than 12 years and living in the comfort and familiarity of home, going to college is an exciting (and sometimes scary) new adventure. The first step to independence and adulthood, there are a lot of changes that college brings with it: studying a specialized subject, going independently to different classes instead of a teacher coming to your classroom, making new friends, and partaking in extra-curricular activities.
If you are moving to a college in another city, the transition from home and school life to a new city and new college can seem daunting, especially if you have never lived away from family before. However, have no fear, millions of students before you have made the transition, and millions of students coming after will also do the same.
To make the best of the situation and be able to enjoy it to the fullest, it’s important to be prepared.
Here are 10 things to keep in mind if you are moving to college in another city:
Before you make the anticipated (or dreaded) move away from home, there are a couple of things you should take care of.
1. Make a ‘research trip’
With your parents, go to the new city where you will be studying and set out time to fully explore the area and finalize your living arrangements. Colleges will typically have either on-campus hostel arrangements, off-campus hostels or tie-ups with paying guest accommodations or other accommodations where students can live. Check out nearby eating places, common means of transport, and emergency doctors in the area.
2. Complete your packing well in advance
You may be tempted to leave packing to the last minute, but packing earlier means less risk of leaving behind things that you may end up needing. Pack a variety of comfortable clothing, useful shoes, necessary electronics, toiletries, and a basic first-aid kit. Based on where you will be living while in college, you can pack additional household belongings as needed. Carrying a lock would also be beneficial, especially if you might be living with roommates or housemates.
3. Learn some form of cooking
Now, we’re not suggesting that you go into full-on chef mode, but at least learn how to make Maggi, some sandwiches, and similar simple items. This will help you if you get any sudden hunger pangs and cooked food is not readily available. While you settle in, or even later when you get busy with college studies and activities, this basic cooking may come in handy.
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4. Double-check all your papers/cards
As you will be living away from your parents, it is important that you organize and carry your important documents with you safely. These would include Aadhaar card, a driver’s license if applicable, debit/credit card, ATM card, bank details, possibly a cheque book, a brief medical history, PAN card, college admissions papers and student ID card. Once you join college you will most likely get more documents and cards that will need to be kept safely.
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So your move is all done, but your work is definitely not over, and has only just begun! Here are some things you cannot afford to skip over.
5. Carefully unpack
When you reach your new place of residence, it’s obvious that you would unpack, but a useful tip is to take pictures of where you have kept things in your room. This will help you when you are searching for a particular item but there is nobody else to help you look. Instead of wasting time searching, you can pull up your pictures and voila, a lead to where your missing belonging is.
6. Check base with your college
The first important task after reaching your new city is to check in with the college, finish up any pending paperwork, take class schedules or anything else that is required. Once you have completed the formalities, take the time to explore the college campus, learn your way around, and basically get the feel of it. Maybe you will run into people who will become friends, and help in smooth adjustment into college life and life in the new city.
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7. Spend time exploring the city
Moving to a new city independently can be exhilarating, so why not enjoy the experience? Discover the new city, view the touristy places, top hangouts, maybe take along some of your new buddies. Exploring the city before college will help you feel a sense of home and belonging, and help you settle into the new city.
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Living away from home will require you to manage your finances in a more careful manner, planning your budget, keeping a safe amount of cash in hand and in your residence while also avoiding theft. No longer are your parents there as a monetary safety net, and you will also have to consider college and food expenses versus your personal interests such as shopping or movies.
9. Establish a routine
It can be immensely tempting to fall into a routine of late nights and late mornings, but while you can indulge in such habits initially, it will be in your best interest to regulate yourself into a more productive routine, especially by the time college classes begin. Try to sleep early, wake up early and incorporate some form of exercise in your day, at least during the weekdays. Although parents may not be around to enforce these habits, by the time that college gets into the flow, you will be glad that you had started a healthy routine when you are full of energy and your late waking classmates are tired.
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10. Be confident
Moving away from home to pursue college in another city can be scary and stressful, which is why you should remember to be confident and positive. As this is your first major step into adulthood the change may be intimidating, so try to take each day one at a time. In no time at all, you will be settled into independent life and will be enjoying your newfound freedom, new friends and new learning atmosphere.
Joining college is a big step in the life of any student, with the changes in teaching style, curriculum, and overall atmosphere. If you are joining a college in a different city and moving away from home, it may appear daunting, to be living on your own. However, with a positive attitude, confidence and full preparation, you can make a smooth transition into the next stage of your life.
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