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What Do I Need to Bring to College? College 

What Do I Need to Bring to College?

We asked the experts—and their answers may surprise you (hint: they have nothing to do with furnishing your dorm room).


“Adaptability. I think adaptability is important because college is full of so many new people and experiences. The easier you can adapt, the quicker you can get used to all the changes in college.”

– Allie Megl, Purdue University


“To me, time management is the most important personality trait for incoming freshmen because you are required to take on a lot more work as well as responsibility. Without sufficient time management skills, it is easy to get overwhelmed and far behind in your work.”

– Chloe Smith, Indiana University


“Perseverance. I thought for sure college would immediately be everything I dreamed it would be, but that was far from reality. Many days I struggled with being away from home, with classes and making friends. I talked about dropping out to move home and commute to a school closer. However, everything eventually started to fall into place. I made friends, succeeded in the classroom, and while I still missed home, it got a little better every day. So don’t give up because it’s hard or stressful at first; in the end you’ll be glad to have stuck it out. I know I am.”

– Jordan Perry, Marian University


“I would say the most important trait for a freshman to have is open-mindedness and willingness to change without losing your values. You’ll be surrounded by new ideas, cultures and people and you can’t just think like the people from back home, aka those that think just like you. Be open to listening to others with different opinions than you so you can decide for yourself what you believe. Don’t shut down others for being different than you.”

– Kate Emmert, DePauw University


“Self-reliance and diligence are what got me through my freshman year.”

– Colin Landberg, Indiana University ’16


You Need 30

Full-time college is 30 credits each year, and, under Indiana law, students must complete 30 credit hours by the end of their freshman year and in each additional year to keep their maximum amount of state financial aid. That’s an average of five classes a semester.

Full-time enrollment is also a smart financial move, because research shows that committing to 30 credit hours a year also means students are more likely to graduate. The Indiana Commission for Higher Education estimates that every additional year students spend in college costs them at least $50,000 in tuition, fees and lost wages.

A degree and more money in the bank – that’s a winning combination. Get more info at

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