Preparing for College: Stop, Save, Shop

In the time between high school graduation and dorm move in, there’s a new sense of freedom and independence. Thoughts of what the future holds drives excitement and purpose. Here are three tips to help prepare you emotionally and physically to be ready to pack your things and move to Madison, Wisconsin.

1. Take time to pause

Cherish the time you spend in your hometown with your family, pets and friends. You may be bored of the town you grew up in for the last 18 years, but trust me, it will someday be a place of comfort that you only return to every so often. Your dog will miss you when you’re only a visitor!

2. Save up!

College life is both overtly and covertly expensive. Naturally, the price tag on tuition and housing comes to mind. If you already thought that was bad, wait until you see how much deodorant costs at the only Walgreens within walking distance. Aside from independently purchasing groceries and toiletries, you’ll be spending money on doing things around the city. Costs sneakily creep up on you when you’re placed in a new town with new friends sharing a desire to experience EVERYTHING — and unfortunately, many of the activities aren’t free. Save, save, save while you’re still living at home with free homemade meals!

3. Keep an eye out for Badger apparel/game day clothes 

You will want to have badger red clothing to represent UW at the football games and around campus! If you already live in Wisconsin, I recommend going to any thrift store and looking for Badger apparel to bring back to life or rework to make it your own. 

Always remember to accessorize, you can find inexpensive sunglasses and stick-on bucky tattoos at the UW bookstore on campus. Photo courtesy of Jessica Gregory (2019).

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