If you’re here looking for some insider information because you just got your acceptance letter into Columbia College Chicago, then congrats! First of all, you did it, the work is done (or just starting, it can be looked at either way). Secondly, you’ve now got a whole new set of things to start thinking about. Not to worry, I’ve got some tips for you.
First, you might need to look for a place to live if you’re not already living in Chicago. This can be stressful, as I know it was for me, if you’re not able to come to Chicago and search yourself. Here’s how I did it: first, find a website online that helps you search for apartments. I used a variety, so don’t be afraid to go crazy. Sites like PadMapper and HotPads worked for me. You can plug in a neighborhood and a price range, plus other preferences, and it’ll give you a list of available apartments. My advice is try to find one close to either the Blue or Red line; it makes getting to campus a whole lot easier.
Speaking of the El: the train system here is really great. I come from the South and it was very new to me, but now I think every city should have public transit like it. With that being said, my advice is to leave your car at home if you have one. If you don’t like trains, there’s the bus. And best of all, your tuition package includes the Ventra Pass, which gives you unlimited access to the CTA here in Chicago during the semester. It was strange concept for me at first, but I love the ease of getting on and off the train and even walking to get where I need to go. Parking is expensive and hard to find, so give public transit a chance! (OK, and there’s Uber and Lyft and taxis galore, if you’re really into cars.)
And the classes – that’s what you’re really here for. Each semester has a new list of courses. For first year Fiction students, you’ll probably end up taking a Workshop, one Critical Reading and Writing course, and one other class of your choice. Of course, only the Workshop is required every semester, and you have free choice on the other two. Read carefully over the courses offered, then also look at the time and day they’re in session in case you have a job or something else you want to plan around. It doesn’t always work out perfectly, but there should be some type of schedule that works for you. The professors are worth researching, too, if you don’t already know them. My first semester there was a Ray Bradbury Seminar offered, and it was taught by Ray Bradbury’s biographer Sam Weller, so I knew it would be a good one to take.
You’ll probably be getting an email soon, but you should think about coming to Admitted Student’s Day, too! It’s on March 28th, and I’ll be there, along with current students and lots of your future cohort .
These are just the basics! There’s a lot to learn about and prepare for now that you’ve been accepted! You can check my “About” page if you want to contact me for specific questions. Congrats again!