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Minnu’s Minute: How I Prepared For College

I will have to reluctantly admit that I was shedding a tear or two reminiscing the times when I was preparing to leave home and build a new one at my college. I remember the summer of 2007 where I was nervous and exhilarated at the same time and I also remember being naïve and didn’t really know about the ways of preparing myself for college abroad. Let me tell you about the little things (that I had wished I had known) that you can do to make your transition to college easier!
Breathe and celebrate! I know you are laughing when I say that, but you underestimate the importance of breathing and celebrating. You have gone through your horrendous board exam, the monstrous college applications and the atrocious visa process. You have survived it all. So sleep-in a bit, read a book, create a painting and just do things that relax you the most! Go on a vacation, a train trip across India because you don’t know when you will get a chance to do that. While you are on this vacation, reflect on your past year, see how much you have grown emotionally and intellectually. I didn’t breathe and celebrate and I regret not taking advantage of the summer right before college.
I did, however, do this next step and I am very proud that I did: Learn about your university, the city in which it is located; the place where you will be spending the next four formative years of your life. Try to connect with the professors by sending them an email introducing yourself and telling them about your undying passion for the respective subject. Be part of your university’s Facebook group for the incoming freshman. Explore the website of the university to figure out different events that are happening upon your arrival. All these steps will help you get familiar with your new environment which will consequently put you a bit more at ease. I memorized the whole welcome packet that my university gave me and I scrutinized every webpage that existed on their website. Yes, I know it sounds a bit extreme, but I was very proud when the rest of the freshman thought I was a senior in college!
You are starting a new chapter in your life in a different country.  This is a very exciting summer and you will see yourself being distracted by all that is going to happen in August. However, don’t forget to thank anybody and everybody that has believed in you and helped you to get to where you are right now. Write your mentors (friends, teachers, counselors, parents, cousins, aunts and or uncles) a thank you note or give them a hug or send them a token of gratitude. Spend time with your childhood friends, goof around with them a bit. For most of you, this will be the first time you have been away from your parents and siblings. Spend some quality time with your parents and siblings them. Spend some time with your mother in the kitchen to learn to prepare some quick meals. Spend some time with your parents telling them about the new things you have learned about the university, so they can be a bit more familiar about your new environment.
Finally, take some time to reflect and recognize how far you have come along, make fun lists of things you want to do when you are in college and think about who you want to become in the next four years. And then, celebrate again!

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