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Prepping for Your First Day

Leaving for college feels like a day that would never come, but it’s finally here. Getting ready can feel like a daunting task, but with a little time and effort, you can feel ready to leave by move-in day. Here’s a couple of suggestions on what to do the weeks before you arrive on campus.

Do Your Research

A couple of months ago, I had so many questions coming into college. I thought, “How am I going to find my classes?” and, “What am I going to even do when I get there?” Luckily, there are so many resources to find information, whether it be the University website, a friend, or even the Admissions blog.

One place I found particularly helpful is the Illinois Student Affairs app. Whether you’re an incoming freshman, transfer student, or international student, you can create your schedule of orientation activities that apply to you and your major. Some events listed are helpful like the Course Schedule Tours and others are fun social ones like watching a movie at Memorial Stadium. There’s also a map of campus and links to many helpful places like the McKinley Health Center and the Counseling Center.

Pack Your Bags

Whether you live close or far, picking what to move into your dorm can be the most stressful part of the move-in process. University housing is here to help with that too with a handy list of things to bring and things not to bring. If you’re living in private housing, your list might be a little different, but it’s still super helpful to have a general guideline of what to pack. Checking to make sure you have everything before and after you buy things can reduce last-minute grocery and furniture runs.

Say Goodbye

One of the most common ailments college students can face is homesickness. Whether it’s one last time taking your dog around the block or going on a final late-night food excursion with your friends, try to enjoy the last moments in your hometown until fall break. Spending time with my family and friends and getting to enjoy their company a little while longer before I move away has been one of the most important things I’ve done in preparing to leave.

Going to college is one of the biggest life changes anyone goes through in their teenage years. It’s easy to be nervous about it, but once you dispel the nerves, it’s a lot easier to get excited. I can’t wait to experience college, and if you’re reading this, I hope I made your leaving process at least a little bit easier!



Class of 2023
I am a sophomore studying Advertising on a Pre-Law track. I’m from Park Ridge, Illinois, about 30 minutes outside of Chicago. I've loved getting involved on campus through my job at Campus Recreation and participating in Greek Life. UIUC is my second home, and I think it should be yours, too!

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