It is getting closer and closer to graduation time, and the freedom summer offers weighs expectantly on most teens’ minds. However, many seniors are also anxiously looking forward to walking across the stage in their gowns and throwing their caps into the night sky before moving on to what seems like a whole new world—the next chapter of our lives. While this can seem like an extremely special, all-consuming and life-changing event, it’s important to focus, as much as you’re able, on preparing thoroughly for the next chapter. Do your best not to wait until the last second before committing to an initial plan. Planning for major life changes often takes great amounts of time and involves many decisions and alterations to your plan. In the end, you want a plan than fits your personal needs, timeframe and budget
Assuming you’ve already selected your school, your next step should include deciding where you’ll be living. In making your decision between a student dorm or an apartment off campus, you’ll want to compare the benefits and costs of both possibilities. You’ll also need to come up with a list of furniture and other items you will need to get before or shortly after making the move. Knowing what you’ll need ahead of time will keep you from having to make choices at the last second and will minimize stress. A simplified example of my list is seen below to help those just beginning this process:
- Kitchen supplies
- Coffee table
- Pots, plants
- Laundry basket and detergent
- Bed Frame
- Night Stand
After making a more detailed list that includes smaller items, such as hangers and cleaning supplies, you’ll need to then make a decision on what you will be bringing from home so that you’ll know what you still need to collect. What you bring will often depend on how you plan to make the move. If you want to avoid renting a moving van, I suggest leaving most of your things behind and simply focusing on items such as your clothes and personal hygiene items. If you wish to save money and bring as many of these items as possible, a moving van might be the right choice. With your moving lists made and your plan more developed, you’ll need to choose a moving date.
In my case, I am moving 3,000 miles away this summer, across the country to California. I’ll be attending a fashion institute in Los Angeles. My boyfriend and close friend are also coming along and will be attending a different college in LA. We’ve made lists upon lists of what we believe we’ll need and have decided what to leave behind in order to make the drive out, in one moving van, more feasible. Before making these decisions we did a great amount of research—and we still have a couple areas that need more defining and that we’ll have to make decisions on soon. Fortunately, we’re journeying out to California during spring break this year to get a better sense of what this move will entail.
Planning is definitely necessary in preparing for college and the adult world. Even if you’re only moving a short distance away, a well-defined plan is vital.
I hope everyone accomplishes their goals this semester and feels proud as they walk across the stage at graduation.