The major events of 2020 are triggering a lot of emotions in high school graduates who were excitedly preparing for college. With the global outbreak of COVID-19 and recent social unrest, our coping mechanisms are being tested. Many high school graduates like me, are asking: "How do I prepare for college now?" Here are some thoughts to help you prepare for your freshman year of college during this unpredictable time.
Stick to Your College Goals
You must be very goal-oriented to survive this crisis. Take out a pen and paper and jot down what you truly want from college. Are you hoping to explore new subjects? Join a sorority? Make new friends? Prepare for that awesome career?
Now that you have put it on paper, you have to find ways to keep your eyes on those goals. Hone your skills with a free online class over the summer. Join a career focused Facebook group if that helps. Also, reading books and stories of someone who overcame great challenges to find success can keep you inspired.
Avoid Calling Your College (Too Much)
It is common to have a lot of unanswered questions as you prepare for your freshman year. However, endless phone calls to your future academic counselor, if one has been assigned to you, is not the way to go. Be mindful of your counselor’s time and save up your questions to make one call or send an email or two. Keep in mind, some college administrators might be unsure about what is happening from month to month.
Due to COVID-19, many colleges are now following the guidelines set by the Governor of that state. And with things changing on a weekly, even daily basis, constant contact may actually get you different and confusing responses.
Do not let the stress of not being able to attend an in-person Freshman Orientation weigh you down too much. Instead, take some steps to keep these challenges from dulling your excitement and interest in college. College will be different, but we are all in this together.
Try writing a gratitude journal. It might be hard at first, but try writing down two or three things you are truly grateful for – for e.g., graduating from high school, good friends and your family. Write in your journal often and, before long, you will begin to focus on the positive things instead of the negative. This is a practice that will help you through various challenges in your freshman year in college.
Another way to prepare for your freshman year is to stay healthy. Since many of the usual hangouts are shuttered due to COVID-19, take advantage of what is available to you. Go for a walk in your neighborhood or sign up for a virtual dance class. Check out the multitude of free exercise video options on YouTube.
Some of the big big gyms and dance studios are providing free online classes and/or offering access to videos of their classes online. For example Orangetheory, one of the top gyms in the Dallas are, offers dozens of free exercise videos online. If you are looking for something more fun like a dance workout, then checkout 305Fitness. They offer lots of hip hop, reggae and pop dance workouts.
One thing living during this time has taught me, is that change is sometimes sudden and inevitable. To keep from getting overwhelmed by your circumstances, you have to take care of yourself and focus on the positive things. Despite COVID, I am still excited about freshman year and all the possibilities college offer.