The summer before college can be so exciting and intimidating all at once. Between now and the time you arrive on campus, you will be busy! Enjoy your time off because you deserve it, but don’t forget about these 28 items to prepare for college.
Tie up loose ends
- Make arrangements for your final high school transcript to be sent to your future college.
- Submit AP and/or IB test scores. This can save you a lot of money if your college will give you college credit for certain test scores.
- Submit your final college transcript if you have taken college courses.
- Provide your immunization and health records to the college. If the college does not have these items, you might not be able to move into the residence halls.
- Ensure the financial aid office has all documents and information they need from you. Missing documents could result in losing some of your financial aid.
- Figure out college finances. If financial aid does not cover the full cost of college, figure out how you will pay the rest. If you can pay the balance yourself, make the payment prior to the beginning of school. If you cannot pay the balance at once, work with the Student Accounts office to figure out payment of your bill.
Prepare for the first day of classes
- Sign up for placement tests, if required by your college.
- Register for classes as early as possible. Classes can fill up quickly, so registering as soon as you are allowed can help you to get the classes you need at the times you want.
- Sign up for orientation. New student orientation is a great way to get plugged-in at the college and meet others before classes start.
- Connect with your roommate. Avoid the awkward first day in the dorm by getting to know your roommate before you arrive on campus. In addition to emailing and connecting on social media, have a conversation over the phone to get to know each other.
- Purchase items for dorm. Many colleges provide a checklist that will be a great guide for shopping. While shopping, keep in mind that dorm rooms are not very big and you will be sharing the room with at least one other person. You won’t have space for a lot of extra items. In addition, talk to your roommate before deciding to bring big items. For example, your room will be very crowded if you both bring a television.
- Look for jobs on campus. If you need to work while attending school, having a job on campus is great. On-campus jobs are typically flexible and easy to get to since they are on-campus. On-campus jobs are usually filled quickly since they are so attractive, so check with the different offices on campus early to inquire about job possibilities.
- Get familiar with your college town. Think about all of the places you may need while away at college (grocery store, pharmacy, doctor, etc.), and look into your options so that when you are on campus, you know exactly where you need to go.
- Doctor. Visit your doctor before heading to college for a check-up and to discuss any issues you may have. If you have on-going prescriptions, make arrangements for prescriptions to be filled near school so you will not go without any medication you need.
- Make arrangements to have your prescription transferred if you have prescriptions that need to be fulled on a regular basis. You might have ever intention to visit home on a regular basis, but things come up and you might have to cancel a visit. Don’t miss out on your prescription if you really need it.
- Dentist. Take care of any dental procedures needed during the summer. Summer is also a perfect time for your regular cleaning because you can time your next appointment during winter break when you are home.
- Haircut. Look your best when you arrive on campus by having your favorite barber or stylist cut your hair.
- Oil change and maintenance. Make sure your vehicle is at its best before driving to college.
Learn life skills
- Laundry. If your parents have been doing your laundry, you will need to learn how to do it yourself. Take lessons to ensure you know how to sort your clothing, as well as how much detergent to use and the temperature of the wash.
- Open a bank account. Check in your college town to make sure there will be a bank or ATM available for your bank.
- Budgeting. You might not have had to budget while in high school. However, now that you are on your own, you may not be able to ask your parents for money every time you need or want something. Make a monthly budget to ensure you won’t run out of money by the end of the month.
- Paying bills. If you have never paid any bills before, learn how to write checks and use online bill pay. In addition, know your due dates or deadlines and always make sure bills are paid before the due date.
- Look into a getting a credit card prior to getting on campus. Having a credit card for emergencies can be very helpful. Young people are targeted for credit cards. You might even run into a credit card sign-up tables on campus that will offer you something free for signing up. However, is it the best credit card for you? Credit cards are all different – you’ll find different interest rates and fees. If you are going to get a credit card, research with your parents to ensure you get the best credit card for you.
- Time management. You might have thought high school was busy, but college can be busier. Learn to manage your time so that you will be able to get your studying and homework done, as well as having fun and participating in extracurricular activities.
- Memorize your social security number. Your social security number is required for many things, including opening a bank account and getting a job. Make sure you know your number.
- Continue your scholarship search. Never stop the scholarship search. You might have the first year figured out, but what about your tuition balance the next year? Continue looking for scholarships throughout your college career.
- Relax and have fun. College can be a lot of fun, but can also be very busy. Enjoy your summer. Enjoy your favorite hometown restaurants and hangouts and get your sleep!
- Spend quality time with family and friends. Going away to college will mean you won’t be able to see your family and friends as often as you are used to doing. Enjoy your time with them.