5 under-the-radar tips for preparing for college

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Whether you’re a freshman preparing for your first year of college, or a senior entering the home stretch of your undergraduate career, the mere thought of a new school year conjures an endless list of things to do and buy.

At this stage, you’ve likely already thought about your shopping list and registered for classes, so here are some under-the-radar tips to help make your transition from summer to college a smoother one:

  1. Confirm your financial aid has processed.

If you’re using financial aid to continue your education, you’ve likely spent hours preparing your information, applying for financial aid and meeting with advisors to discuss your options. But have you confirmed your aid is available for use before your tuition balance is due?

Prevent financial stress and ensure your school year starts on solid financial footing by logging into your FAFSA account, and/or by contacting your school’s financial aid office.

  1. Don’t forget your utilities!

Whether you need to start, stop or transfer service, DTE Energy’s website makes getting safe, reliable energy quick and easy across devices.  DTE also offers a variety of flexible self-service options that allow you to manage your account quickly and easily, receive your bill electronically, and to allow others to pay your bill without accessing your account through Guest Pay functionality.

Click here to start, stop or transfer DTE Energy service online.

  1. Plan for academic success.

Develop healthy studying habits early on to avoid cramming, and to set yourself up for success – especially when it comes to subjects that are challenging for you. If your instructors send syllabi ahead of time, get a jump by studying before classes begin because the first few weeks of school will be hectic – lots of things to do and people to meet! Don’t be afraid to set up some time to meet with your instructor(s) to discuss the months ahead as well as your short and long-term goals.

Research effective study techniques and develop a routine that works for you.  

  1. Make your health a priority.

If you’re like many students, going away to school often means a sharp decline in home-cooked, nutritious meals, and a surge of quick and cheap eats and drinks. Prevent the freshman 15 (which has ways of lingering and growing beyond freshman year, BTW) by creating a meal plan that will fuel your busy lifestyle – and your brain. 

Consider using a nutrition tracking app to get/stay on a good path. If you’re living off-campus, consider weekly meal prep; if you’re staying in the dorms, avoid late-night snacking and unhealthy cafeteria options (looking at you, nacho cheese and soft-serve ice cream machines) readily available to you.  

  1. Relax!

Whether you’re a freshman or a graduate student, each school year brings new challenges and stressors. Your classmates in the same boat, so remember you’re not alone; you’ll overcome the challenges you’ll face – together!

You’re going to college to grow as a student and person, and to become a well-rounded professional when you enter your field, so keep your goals at top of mind as you progress through your coursework.