Transitioning from high school to college can be overwhelming. You still have to focus on getting your work done while preparing for the next phase in your life. Between filling out the FAFSA, remembering to check your email, and the scary stories you’ve heard about 15-page papers on the first day of class in college, it can be a lot!

Don’t fret, we’ve gathered the five most essential things we think high school students should know during their senior year.

1. The FAFSA opened October 1

The Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) opened October 1. High school seniors attending a college, university, trade school or any institution of higher learning need to fill out this application. It will determine how much federal aid you can receive in order to pay for school. You will need your parent’s 2016 tax information to complete this application.

2. College isn’t as scary as you think

You might have your expectations and thoughts on how your college coursework will be. However, don’t overthink it. Professors know that you are transitioning from high school to college and other students in your class are in the same boat as you. Don’t feel intimidated or doubt your greatness! It’s a new beginning for everyone, as long as you try, plan out your assignments and ask for help when needed you will be fine.

3. You should have a professional email address

If your email is or it’s time to create a new email address. Colleges and future employers examine every piece of information you provide about yourself. Stick with something simple such as or if your name is common it is okay to add a number at the end of your last name.

4. Get in the habit of checking your email

Email is a very important source of communication in the adult world. If you apply for scholarships email is the quickest way you’ll receive notifications about your application. Important reminders and information from your future college will most likely come via email as well. Get used to it now because in college checking your email for information is key.

5. Stay on top of important dates and deadlines

Most likely you have a smartphone so use it wisely! Add important dates and deadlines to your calendar on your phone so you won’t forget when something is due. Deadlines such as the ACT and SAT sign up, college application acceptance, FAFSA and that five-page paper for history class should all be planned out in a calendar or planner.