A Guide for Transitioning from High School to College or University

Monday, May 24, 2021

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The transition from high school to college or university is an experience that requires students to grow personally, especially during a worldwide pandemic.


Learning to manage new responsibilities and lots of changes in lifestyle can seem daunting at first; but with the proper preparation, can lead to success. Places4Students.com has some suggestions below that will help students transition to a home away from home!


College & University Requirements

Many colleges and universities have requirements that dictate certain students must live on-campus. Before deciding between on or off-campus housing, make sure to research the school’s specific requirements first. Typical off-campus necessities may be:


  • The rental must be within a certain vicinity to campus.

  • The student must reach a specified age first.

  • The student must reach a certain course credit limit or academic year.

  • There is a health or disability requirement that cannot be met living on-campus.


Off-Campus Options

After deciding to live off-campus, the next step is to search what options are available. Things to do and keep in mind when looking for off-campus housing accommodations are:


  • Create a monthly budget.

  • Research the areas surrounding the campus.

  • Decide on having or not having a roommate(s).

  • Locate rental properties according to your preferences, such as within walking distance to campus, on a bus route, etc.

  • Determine the distances to local amenities required, such as grocery stores, shopping malls, etc.


Deadlines & Important Dates

If on-campus housing is offered and the chosen option, first-year students are usually guaranteed a place in residence; but only when deadlines are met. Living off-campus also incurs deadlines and dates that need to be followed. In order to ensure a smooth transition, make sure due dates are recorded with clear notes. Typical deadlines include:


  • Deadline to submit a residence application.

  • Deadline for apartment or security deposits.

  • Deadlines for immunization record submission.

  • Specified move-in/out dates.


Note: International students and those moving from out-of-town should ask if the school offers early move-in/out dates or extended hours during holidays.



Students will need to find out where a Laundromat is located, if not on-site at the housing accommodation. Things to consider are:


  • Are laundry appliances available within the unit or in the rental building?

  • If not, where is the closest Laundromat located?

  • Are the appliances coin operated?

  • Can detergent, fabric softener, etc. be purchased in the laundry room?



Whether commuting or living on-campus, parking will be an important factor to consider when deciding whether to bring a car to school or not. Colleges and universities will require students to purchase a pass to park on-campus, which will include several rules to follow. Items to help decide whether a car is needed at college or university are:


  • The type of parking passes and associated fees per semester/year?

  • The availability and location of parking lots for the student’s program?

  • The rules for parking on-campus during holidays and breaks?



Colleges and universities offer various meal plan options for both on-campus students and commuters. Students should decide if a meal plan is the best option before starting school, by considering the following:


  • How much time will be available to cook?

  • Will it be possible or a hassle to get to the local grocery store?

  • What appliances, utensils, dishes, pots/pans, etc. are available in your kitchen?

  • Compare the cost-effectiveness of each option relative to your lifestyle.


SEE ALSO:  Students: Be a Good Neighbor

The Places4Students.com Team