Keep Calm and Carry On: a Matriculation Guide

The following entry was written by Andy Pham, class of 2017.

It was only a year ago that I was fresh out of high school, ready to take on the next chapter at Emerson College in the fall. For the final few months of our senior year of high school, our teachers and counselors supported and guided us through the process of applying to and enrolling in college. Now that it’s summer, you may still be left with questions that you are not sure about (like I was). Who do I ask? What should I do? Did I not send something in on time? Can I still go to my college? My life is over! My advice? Relax! More than likely, you will be fine — and if there’s something you didn’t do, someone will let you know before it reaches a crisis point. Getting jittery and panicking will prevent you from savoring one of the greatest summers of your life (the one before college), and fretting may cause you to lose your cool and completely forget about all the resources created to help you. The following is what I like to call “The Five Things Accepted Students Should Do Over the Summer.”Boston Common aerial

1. Check the timeline
Many schools, including Emerson, have administrative offices whose job it is to help incoming students organize the matriculation process. I know, there are so many dates and so many things you need to send in, and the days of summer are passing by before you know it! But we’ve put it all in a single place: if you go on our website and check the “Accepted Students” timeline, we list all the important dates including transcript deadlines, health information deadlines, housing application, tuition deadlines, and much more! If you refer to this timeline and the due dates for all the required materials, you will be much more relaxed getting your requirements together on time. Consider printing one out for the family fridge and crossing off deadlines once you have met them.

2. Use the website
More than likely, someone has asked the question that you are currently pondering. Our website is chock full of information you can use to navigate through any problems or requests you have. Need to book a tour? Learn more about a program? Have questions about what you can bring to your dorm? Wondering if you’ll get credit for AP scores? Need some guidelines for securing your I-20? All that information is most likely living on a page on emerson.edu. Make use of the search box on the website and type in keywords! Perhaps there is a “Frequently Asked Questions” page with the answer you’ve been looking for.

3. Plan ahead
Going to a college is a major commitment of your time and money. Have you visited Emerson College? Can you imagine yourself walking down Boylston street, grabbing food at our Emerson Cafe, living in the dorms? If you haven’t yet visited, booking a tour is a fantastic way to not only check out Boston, but also be familiar with our campus. Coming to Emerson from afar? Take a peek at the Orientation Schedule, Academic Calendar, and itinerary for Family Weekend. Booking flights and hotels in advance can spare you the expense and stress of planning for these events last-minute.

4. Be patient
I know it’s difficult having to wait on information regarding something as urgent as college. It can be frustrating to not hear back about whether paperwork was received, waiting on a financial aid package, anticipating a decision about the wait list, and all the other moving parts. Don’t worry: we haven’t forgotten about you! It’s always good to check on the status of something that’s in the works, but please remember everything takes time to be received, processed, and evaluated. That being said, if something doesn’t seem right or if you are concerned about meeting deadlines or getting the information you need, don’t hesitate to call. We are here to assist you in making this transition… it’s our job!

5. Enjoy summer
High school is officially behind you, and you have worked hard for the last four years. Have fun! Preparing for college is important, but don’t forget to enjoy your summer. Go shopping with family for dorm supplies, spend time with friends who will be attending schools far and wide, tackle some recreational reading before you dive into assigned coursework, make a bucket list of things you want to do before leaving your hometown. As long as you do your part in submitting materials, we will do ours in getting them to the right place!

I hope you will take these tips to heart in order to have a wonderful and stress-free summer. The enrollment process may be a multi-layered one, but don’t let it take over your break. When in doubt, reach out!

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