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Being a freshman can be a scary experience, especially when you’re clueless how to prepare for college. There’s many things students are curious about, or do not know some essentials when it comes to arriving to the University of Iowa.

1. Dual Credits Are Important

Dual credits are your friends!! Many high schools will provide free online classes you can take that will help you out in the long run. Checking prerequisites for your major can help you save some time and money when you arrive to college. In addition, sometimes online classes can be a lot easier online than in the actual classrooms. Some advice though, science and math related classes are usually recommended to be taken through an actual classroom environment where it’s easier to ask an instructor for help and/or further understand the material.

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2. Apply For Scholarships

Scholarships are life savers. If you rack enough scholarships, there’s a chance to basically have a full ride to the University of Iowa with what you have collected. Nowadays, there are MANY and different types of scholarships out there. With that, know all the deadlines. Some scholarships can have a huge impact on expenses for you and your family. To make it easier, some scholarships require letter of recommendation, ask for the person who is writing your letter to print out multiple copies if they can. You can use them for other scholarships you apply for.

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3. You Don’t Have To Live In the Dorms

Not a lot of UIowa students know this, but living on campus your first year is not required. For those really on a tight budget, save yourself $6,000-$10,000 and don’t live in the dorms. Some say it’s nice to live in the dorms your first year just to get the full college experience, but then again saving a lot of money is essential too.

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4. Don’t Bring Your Whole Closet

Still on the topic of the dorms, don’t bring everything with you. This may be harder for out-of-state since it may be harder for some to go home often, but for those who aren’t too far from home, this will help you out a ton. Bring clothes, and only clothes that fit the weather or season. So example, beginning of the school year, bring clothes that fit warm weather. As fall arrives, take those warm clothes home and bring back fall clothes. This will save you time and boxes at the end of the school year when you have to move out from your dorm room.
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5. It’s Okay to Change Your Major

The biggest fear for many college students is not knowing what they’re doing. Many fear of changing their major. In some reports, about 70% of college students change their major at least once, and that’s okay. College is the time to figure yourself, and what you truly are passionate about. No fear, if you start to question your major, or don’t like what you’re going into, it’s okay to switch major. Go into something that you’ll be interested in.

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Being prepared will always help you out in the long run. So whether it be the University of Iowa or another school, do some research. See if the school website can answer some of your questions, or ask someone. Sometimes you can save yourself a lot of money and time if you know things before hand.


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Abby Ouankeo


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