Are You Heading Off To College This Fall?


Incoming college freshmen are just now finishing their high school studies, with some having already graduated while others still must take their final exams before their required schooling comes to an end. Like so many of your fellow grads, you’ll be experiencing a number of strange feelings including the oddity that you no longer must attend school. Instead, come this fall you’ll be taking classes thanks to a decision you made in a bid to secure your position in life.

college studentsIf you’re still finishing high school classes, then please bookmark this page and come back to it when your mind is free of exams and all the fun surrounding your graduation. It may seem strange, but by early August many college freshmen will already be on their way to campus. The summer between your senior year of high school and freshmen year of college is a short one, in some cases giving students just six weeks to prepare!

Planning To Leave For College, A Step By Step Guide

If you’re planning to leave for college for the first time, then the following steps should be begun as soon as possible. The sooner you complete them the more time you’ll have to relax later on:

Check Your Finances — Is your tuition paid up for the upcoming academic year? Or, do you have loose ends which need to be taken care of? Thousands of students will be in a panic come this August when they realize that they still need some extra cash to pay for school. Student loans, whether Stafford or private, can help. However, check out your other options first to limit the amount of money you’ll need to borrow.

Shop For Your Room — Start gathering what you’ll need for your dorm room as soon as possible to avoid crowds later. Make a list (inventory) of everything to take with you including clothes, bedding, personal effects, food, computer and related supplies, etc.

Arrange Transportation — How will you get back and forth to campus? Will you be allowed to have a car on campus? Make sure that your car is road ready and that the registration and insurance are up to date.

If you’re planning to be at school without transportation, look into what options you have for getting around. Lots of cities offer discounted passes to college students for bus and train rides; explore your options and find out which students whose families live near your family.  You may need to hitch a ride home for Thanksgiving, Christmas, spring break, etc.

Pick Up Supplies — You can probably wait until early August to pick up related supplies as that is the season when all of the big box retailers run specials on back to school supplies.  Get pencils, pens, paper, calculators, notebooks and more for reduced prices and plenty of them. If at all possible, avoid the college bookstore where you’ll pay a premium for mostly everything including textbooks. Note to self: expect to rent your books instead of buying.

Get Medicines — Make a visit to your doctor to get a final check up before heading off to college. If you are on a prescription, make sure that you have enough on hand and that you can get refills later. Consider switching to a national pharmacy chain if you haven’t done so already in order to pick up prescription refills near college. In addition, talk with your family about health insurance coverage and what steps you should take if there is an emergency away from home. If you have a pressing health concern (e.g., asthma), let the college infirmary know about it.

Make Copies Of Your Paperwork — Important paperwork should be left at home, but you may need to bring copies of the same with you. Leave with your parents a copy of your driver’s license and copies of any other documentation you must keep with you. Be careful about identity theft — your social security number shouldn’t be shared with anyone other than college administration and if you plan on working, your employer.

Your Cell Phone — Will your current cell phone still be usable at school?  Today’s students enjoy being connected, but if roaming charges and other surprise fees hit, will staying on your family plan be a wise move? Learn before you leave what sort of options you have by speaking with a representative with your current plan.

Chances are there are some other things you need to do before heading off to college, things that only you know about.  Some students don’t like working with lists but if good grades and a successful career are things that you want in life, then getting used to working with them now will make things easier later on.

Adv. — For additional tips on how to prepare for college, visit where you can also find college aid information plus find useful, downloadable tools to help you stay organized!


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Categories: Personal Advice