What to Do Before Heading Back to College

in General

Summer is winding down, which means it’s back to college. While summer is an exciting time, going back to college doesn’t have to be so bad. You’ll get to see all your friends again and enjoy the college life.

Before you head out the door, make sure you’re prepared. Completing this checklist can help you succeed in the new semester.

1. Get in contact with your roommate.

Find out what they might be bringing on campus. This will help you avoid duplicates of any shared items.

2. Get ready to be on your own again.

Go into this year prepared. If you haven’t already, memorize your social security number. You’ll also want to learn everything you need to know about your financial aid. Consider consulting a financial aid advisor and your parents to help you develop a monthly budget to avoid running out of money while at college.

3. Make a packing list.

Think about everything you want to bring along: toiletries, bedding, towels, flip flops (a necessity for community bathrooms), food supplies, laundry supplies, and electronic needs. Make yourself a list and do not wait until the night before you leave to pack.

4. Make a plan to get healthier.

It’s easy to eat unhealthy when you’re at college. Dining halls allow unlimited plates of terribly delicious food. Then you get hungry in the middle of your late-night paper writing escapade, so you reach for the quickest snacks. Make a point to pack a few healthy snacks to keep in your desk drawer and snacks to carry with you when snack attacks happen.

5. Check out the sales and go shopping.

Once you have a final list of everything you need, from healthy snacks to dorm room supplies, you’ll want to browse the sales. Tons of stores are having “back to college” sales. Get the most bang for your buck by looking at the flyers before you go shopping. (Bonus tip: Check your inbox and junk folder for deals at your favorite stores!)

6. Say your goodbyes and make a plan to stay in touch.

Think about how you’ll stay in touch with family and friends. Consider video chatting, communicating through social media, texting, and/or calling. Make a point to put value in staying connected with your loved ones. This may mean discussing your schedules ahead of time.

And don’t forget to cut your parents a break—no matter how many times you come home, they’ll always get emotional when you leave. Don’t get annoyed if they call you every day for the first two weeks or text you incessantly to make sure you’re eating your vegetables and properly separating your laundry.

7. Get organized.

Have you considered what your system will be this year? The best time to get organized is in the beginning of the year. Consider ways to best arrange your room for optimum efficiency. Also, think about how you’ll set your goals and finish all your assignments on time. (Bonus tip: Use a desk calendar to map out due dates according to each class’s syllabus during your first week back.)

It can be sad to see summer come to an end, but it’s also exciting to get back into the swing of things! One more year to check off your list. Take steps to get prepared this back to college season so you can transition with stride and have a successful year.