How to Prepare for College Over Winter Break
School’s out for winter break! That means you have plenty of time to catch up on your favorite shows, sleep till noon and prepare for college. *Record scratch* Prepare for college?!
We know, we know. Thinking about school is the last thing you want to do on your break from school. But think of it this way: The more time you spend preparing over winter break, the more you’ll get to enjoy your summer with family and friends before heading to campus. After you’ve taken your SAT and/or ACT and applied to Georgia State, there are plenty of things to do over the break to get ready for your first semester.
- Learn about campus life.
This is one of the best ways to get excited about heading to college. From Saturday night football games to homecoming every fall, Georgia State students are full to the brim with school spirit. There are more than 400 organizations on all of our campuses ranging between academic, social, volunteer-based and more. Take a deeper look at what student life means and then consider what organizations you might want to join!
- Decide where you want to live.
Living on campus is a great way to connect to the city and meet new people. Freshman dorms on Georgia State’s Atlanta Campus are Piedmont Central, Piedmont North and Patton Hall. Upperclassmen may live in the Lofts, University Commons or Greek Housing for those in Greek organizations. While freshmen aren’t required to live on campus, we recommend it for all the perks that come with living in Atlanta! Not to mention the near-unlimited dining options on campus. For a lot of students coming to college, this might be your first experience living away from home and having a space that’s truly your own, so take advantage of it! You’ll get an email from us when housing applications open in January. There are also lots of off-campus living options around the Atlanta Campus and all Perimeter College campuses.
- Make a budget
Ah, yes. Everyone’s favorite topic: money. We know that college can be financially stressful, so planning ahead is essential. Using our online cost calculator will help you get an idea of how much you’ll need to spend per semester.
If you haven’t already, submitting your FAFSA is the best way to start making a budget. Even if you don’t think you qualify for federal aid, finishing an application is quick (like, one 30-minute episode of your favorite show kind of quick) and could really benefit you.
Submitting FAFSA makes you eligible for the HOPE and Pell grants as well as work study, but don’t forget to shop Georgia State scholarships too. Tons of scholarship money goes to waste every year because not enough students take advantage of it. If you see a scholarship that may apply to you, it never hurts to shoot your shot. You could also look around for on-campus jobs you might enjoy! Check out these budgeting tips for more resources.
- Find your major… or at least your first one
Guess what? It’s okay to have no idea what you want to do with your life. That’s a huge decision and the answer might change as you learn more about the world and yourself. While we’re not saying you should change your major every semester, it’s okay if it happens once or twice. We have more than 250 majors, minors and pathways to choose from, and sometimes you won’t really know what you like until you give it a try.
Knowing your strengths, what you care about, and what you enjoy doing are great places to start (so is taking our major finder quiz!). If you’re one of the lucky ones who’s always known what path you want to take, we recommend taking a look at the course catalog to see what classes may be in your future.
- Schedule a visit.
While you have a long break, take a minute to look at your calendar for the next month or so and see when you might be able to take a campus tour. Many high schools give students one or two approved absences for college visits, so we hope you’ll decide to spend a day with us! You could even come on a Friday and stay in Atlanta overnight to enjoy a weekend in the city. Taking note of how you feel on campus is a big way to know whether or not a college is right for you, so this is a great move in making your final decision. Before your visit, read some tips from our tour guides!
Disclaimer: This attraction not guaranteed on Georgia State’s campus.
Most importantly, get some well-deserved rest on your winter break, and we’ll do the same! Georgia State will be closed December 21 through January 5. We wish you a happy New Year and hope this will be the year you join #TheStateWay and the Panther Family!