5 Things You Need To Know Before Moving To College

Hey friend! Welcome back! Today we are talking about the essential things you need to know before moving into a college dorm or apartment!

Moving away to college can be a scary experience for some people because they’ve never lived anywhere but home. But I’m here to tell you that it can be a fun and exciting experience! Make sure to read all of my tips and also feel free to ask questions!

My college journey was unique because I commuted my first two years to community college, then lived in the dorms for two years while finishing my bachelor’s degree, and then lived in two apartments during my master’s program. So I’ve lived in quite a few places and I am going to tell you what you need to know!

1. Before moving to college make a list of things that you need to bring with you.

Many colleges and universities have lists on their websites of things they suggest you bring with you. There is also usually a list of things that you can’t bring to a dorm with you (i.e. candles, toasters, and pets) – so look at your school’s website. Below is a short list of things I found useful when living in a dorm and apartment in my college town!

Things that I found useful when living in a dorm:

Pillows, Sheets, & Blankets



Shower Caddy for Toiletries

Shower Shoes (Sandals)

Desk Organizer


Plastic Dishes


Good Pair of Walking Shoes

Plastic Storage Bin Tower

2 Large Plastic Bins

Clothes Hangers

Lint Roller

Blackout Curtains

Things that I found useful to add to the above list when living in an apartment:



Blackout Curtains


Good Pair of Walking Shoes

Futon or Chair

Shower Curtain & Rings

Bathroom Rug

Pots & Pans

Dining Table & Chairs

Silverware & Plates

Small TV

Remember this is not a complete list! These are just a few things that I think most people might use. If you’re missing something you can always run to the store in your town.

BONUS TIP: Make sure to look at the thrift stores and antique shops in college towns! They have great stuff for cheaper prices than the chain stores. You could even make a DIY project if you have time! Also look for stuff at the dollar stores – they have cute storage options and decor!

2. Invest in a good pair of walking shoes. You will need them!

Make sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes when moving to college. You will be walking all over campus and will want comfy shoes! Some campuses cover miles and your feet could hurt if you don’t have good shoes.

If you need to wear professional shoes for a presentation I recommend sticking your heels or sandals in a plastic sack inside your backpack and switching shoes once you get to class! My life was forever changed when I started doing this! Your feet will definitely thank you 🙂

Here’s a little bit of insider information from a person who commuted for two years – make sure that you have comfy shoes because the close parking spots fill up fast and you will likely find yourself walking a long way to get to class… It happens, but good shoes can help!

Also, as a commuter I also tried to leave a spare pair of shoes and socks in the trunk in case it rained and my shoes got wet. There’s nothing worse than having to wear soggy socks for an entire day of school… trust me. Just pack the extra shoes on rainy days! Stick them in a plastic sack so nothing else in your trunk will get wet if you change shoes!

3. Talk to anyone and everyone in your first few weeks of the semester! And keep in contact with people you met at orientation.

Odds are that you had to attend some kind of orientation for new students – whether it was virtually or in-person. Try to keep in contact with these people and meet up with them once school starts. You can go to a coffee shop, Welcome Week event, or have a Zoom call – whatever you feel is safe for you!

Many dorms and apartment complexes will host “Back to School” bashes where you can meet new people too. If you see someone in the hallway make sure to say hi and introduce yourself! The people on my floor were so much fun and all had really cool stories.

Try to attend some of the Welcome Week events that your school hosts. I’ve noticed nowadays that colleges and universities are hosting in-person and virtual events! So try to attend one however you safely can 🙂

4. Make sure that you have completed all of your paperwork and have copies of all the important documents you might need.

Make sure that you have completed all of the paperwork before move-in day at your school! Some of this is done online, while other papers might need to be printed out and signed.

BONUS TIP: If you plan on working a job while going to school (part-time or full-time) make sure to have copies of all documents you need to fill out employment paperwork. This includes your license, social security card, and voided checks. I had friends who had to travel home and get their paperwork and it was a mess. So save yourself the trouble!

5. Know that moving to college can be a big transition. It is okay to be nervous and to make time for yourself.

Moving to college can be a big adjustment – give yourself grace and time to create a new routine and make new friends. Make sure to have time for yourself somewhere quiet. You can talk to your roommate about setting boundaries about quiet times.

I also recommend walking around campus and finding some of the quiet spots. My university was pretty large so there were quite a few quiet spots to study if you knew where to find them. Try studying in different locations too. And you don’t always have to be studying – you can go somewhere quiet just to breathe and think!

Concluding Thoughts

Congratulations on moving to college or university! I am so proud of you and know that you’re going to do great things! Remember it is okay to be nervous about this transition, but don’t let it get you down because everyone is nervous. If you are having problems when you get to college make sure to talk to your parents and find a mentor on campus that can help you with the transition. I hope this helps!

Good luck! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

10 Tips for College Freshmen

Hey friend! Welcome back to another post! Today we’re talking about 10 tips to help college students be successful in their first semester of school. I spent 6 years in school and am gearing up to teach my own classes this fall – so I think I can help you! Let’s go ahead and hop right in with 10 Tips for College Freshmen!

1. Look at the syllabus before you go to class.

The Professor will typically go over the syllabus on the first day of class, but it makes things goes much more smoothly if you’ve already glanced at it. You can have your questions ready to ask on the first day!

2. Make a friend in all of your classes within the first week.

College can be a scary experience for some people, but having a friend in the class can definitely make it less daunting. I had at least 1 person who I swapped notes with in every class that I took. You can even form small study groups!

You could even study together via Zoom or Skype so that everyone can participate in the projects or study sessions. I remember it was always difficult trying to coordinate schedules and trying to get everyone together on campus at the same time… Video chatting makes things so much easier!

Halloween Party on Campus

3. Do the readings for class and watch the supplemental videos.

Teachers assign readings for a class for a reason. Try to read the material before class, but skim it if you have too. Looking at the materials can at least give you an idea about what the lectures will be over that week.

4. Talk to your professors, Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA’s), mentors, and other people.

Talking with your professor before class, after class, or during their office hours is a great way to build a strong relationship. Your professors will be the people who know your work and can possibly write you letters of recommendation for future job/college applications. Plus they’re super smart and you’ll learn something new every time you talk to them! I spent a lot of time visiting professor’s office hours and was always given solid advice on how to be successful. Professors will also make appointments if you can’t make their office hours so don’t be afraid to ask! Just talk to them 🙂

Undergrad students, GTA’s, and Professors at the 2020 Oklahoma Phi Alpha Theta Conference

Go visit your Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTA’s or TA’s) if you’re enrolled in a large class. These people are the graduate students from the whatever department your class is in. Personally, I was a GTA for the history department. Often, the GTA’s are the ones who will be grading your papers. You will want to visit with them before class, after class, or during their office hours to go over assignments or to discuss your grades. GTA’s will also make appointments if you can’t make their office hours so don’t be afraid to ask! Just talk to them 🙂

GTA’s at the Oklahoma Phi Alpha Theta Conference 2019

Make sure to talk to other mentors on campus when applicable. You can be involved in leadership classes or an Honors Programs which can lead to having more mentors on campus. Additionally, you will want to regularly meet with your academic advisor at least once a semester to ensure you are on the right track to graduate.

Finally, just talk to anyone on campus who is willing to talk back to you. I worked on campus my entire college journey and met so many cool people! I knew people all across campus and loved running into them. These connections can help you later on in life as well!

5. Make time to study, but also make time to relax.

This was one that I struggled with while in school. I worked all of the time either at my job or on my school work. It was really hard for me to relax and take a break. Looking back I can see where this hurt me, but I know how to take breaks when needed now.

But I’m not saying that you should avoid your readings or homework. Make sure to get those done before you do anything else. But don’t let the assignments consume you – reach out to your professor or GTA when you need help.

6. Try a new club, intramural sport, or activity. You never know what might happen!

College is the time to try new things and to get outside of your comfort zone! Many college and university campuses will have websites with lists of clubs and activities. Make sure to look at the wellness page to find intramural activities too!

Try anything that piques your interest! I tried tennis and water polo while I was in college – had I ever played them before? No… I had not, but I had fun learning! I also participated in a swim club, history club, geography club, Phi Alpha Theta, and the list goes on and on, but I think you get the point. There are tons of organizations that you can take part in.


Oklahoma State University Swim Club at Wichita State University

7. Ask Questions.

Ask the question in class. Odds are that most people didn’t understand and won’t ask for clarification. If you ask the professor to clarify they are usually happy too. You have to remember that your professor has been studying the topic they’re lecturing on for years and sometimes might not explain things well.

Don’t be afraid of what other people might think either. You are brave for asking the questions. You will be better off for it too because you will better understand the topic.

8. Visit the library, wellness center, student union, health services, and any other building on campus with student resources.

Make sure to check out all of the places that have student resources on campus. This includes the library, wellness center, student union, dinging halls, residential buildings, etc. Each of these buildings will have different resources.

Many college and university campuses will also have counseling services, Veterans services, student disability services, transfer student resources, and resources for non-traditional students. If you don’t know where to find the resource that you need, make sure to reach out to a professor that you trust and they will help point you in the right direction.

9. Make sure to keep your living space clean, do you laundry, and look after your nutrition.

Moving to college or university can be a huge adjustment for some people and that is very understandable. But you’ll want to make sure that you’re taking care of your health and your space. I recommend trying to set up a schedule that will help make chores a part of your regular weekly routine.

Try to make sure that you’re eating somewhat healthy and making good choices too. You’ll probably want to invest in a good water bottle – especially for the hot summer months. Drinking enough water is an important thing to do!

10. Try something outside of your comfort zone at least once a semester.

I know it’s easy to get into a habit or a routine, but I recommend trying something new and outside of your comfort zone at least once a semester if not more frequently. This can include trying new foods, trying new clubs, or activities. Just try new things!

Personally, I tried two-stepping lessons, tried inner tube water polo, and went to sporting events that I had never been to before! Every experience was different and so fun! I am so glad that I went! 🙂

Two-Stepping Night at one of the Dorms on campus!

Concluding Thoughts

Alright y’all, those are my 10 tips for college freshmen! I hope you have a fantastic semester and that this college experience is a great one for you! For more college tips and tricks check out the Student Resources page on my website!

If you ever have any questions please don’t hesitate to ask someone on your campus for help! And if you have a more general question feel free to send me a message via my contact page! I will get back to you ASAP.

Happy studying and trying new things! I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂

Tips for College Transfer Students

Hey there, friend! Today I am going to talk about my experience as a transfer student and give you some practical advice that will help make the transition to another school much easier. This article will also give you some tips on how to be a successful transfer student! Let’s get started! 

I began my education at a community college and had an amazing experience. I loved my classes, professors, and clubs that I was involved in. My community college allowed me to have smaller classes and more one on one help. I completed an associate degree before transferring so I’ll be speaking from that perspective. 

Community College

I LOVED my community college experience. Not only did I save a lot of money, but I also met some great friends there. I still talk to several of them today! *I actually set up a coffee date with one of my friends from my community college as I wrote this piece!

Transitioning from high school to college can be tough for some students so make sure to get involved on campus. I was fortunate to have an on-campus job and to be involved in several clubs. But make sure to put your studies first! Always finish your homework, do the projects, readings, and study for your exams before you go to a club meeting. If you do these things, you will most likely be successful! 🙂

As you take all the required classes on your degree plan you will want to talk to your advisor about the next step. You will have to decide when you want to transfer to a four year university. Your advisor can help make sure that you take ALL of the classes you need. You can also reach out and speak to the department that you are transferring to in order to make sure that you have all of the classes you need.

You will want to look up the application deadlines for the university you want to attend and make sure that it is filled out and turned in. You’ll need to gather materials, write an essay, and have official transcripts. After submitting the application, you have to wait. Once you’re accepted you can begin the next steps! 

Take time and enjoy the accomplishment of finishing an associate degree. That’s a big deal! Congratulations! I am so proud of you, friend!!! 🙂 

After, graduation you can attend the summer camp at your university for transfer students. Make sure that you’ve signed up because you’ll make friends who are in the same position as you!


Alright, now that you’ve had the summer to celebrate your associate degree it’s time to begin life at university in the fall (this also applies to students who begin university in the spring too!) 

Typically, universities in the United States have something called “welcome week” for students in the fall. There are a lot of events, activities, and free food to be found all across campus. Try to attend a few events that are interesting to you – this is where you’ll meet people with similar interests. If you live in the dorms, make sure to introduce yourself to the people on your floor and in the common areas. These people will be great to have as study buddies!

Personally, transferring with an associate degree meant that I was a third year student at my university. I met with my university advisor and we made a plan for my final two years of my undergrad degree. You can also ask your advisor what clubs are in your department. (My department had the History Club and Phi Alpha Theta!)

Make sure to find the Transfer Office on campus for your university. This office will have a lot of resources and will be able to connect you with the mentors you need. I think it is important for universities to be learn how to support transfer students and this is a good place to start. 

Another great place to look for campus resources is the library! Often, there are community bulletin boards posted throughout the building with flyers about events and helpful resources. Personally, my university had these bulletin boards throughout all of the buildings on campus so make sure to take a second to read them! 

My university also had an online platform for clubs and organizations that you could browse. This was super helpful in finding organizations to join. This was also a great place to look for community service opportunities! 

Also, I loved participating in intramural sports. My favorite was inner-tube water polo! So much fun! This is another great way to meet people from all across campus.

Spend some time trying things that are outside of your comfort zone! I hope your university experience is a good one and that you meet a bunch of awesome people!

Concluding Thoughts

Community colleges and universities are crucial to education. Make sure to enjoy your experience, meet lots of new people, and try a bunch of new things. I loved both my community college and university experiences. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people who helped shape me along the way in both places.

Good luck in your next endeavor! I am cheering for you!

I’ll talk to ya soon! 🙂