Counting Down to College
Remember when you were a kid and summers seemed to last forever? Now that high school is over and you are heading off to college, this summer probably feels like it’s flown past in the blink of an eye. In a matter of weeks you will have moved into student digs and started classes, so if you haven’t prepared yet for this big move, here are half a dozen steps you can take for a smooth transition.
1. Get Packing
Hopefully, you will have thought a bit (or a lot) about what personal possessions will follow you to college. Remember, you are about to reduce your square footage substantially, so packing for college takes careful consideration. Make a pile of goods you definitely need, and if there is still room in your boxes for a few sentimental pieces, squeeze them in. It’s best to leave your most valuable and beloved possessions in the safety of your parental home to avoid the possibility of theft of damage.
Moving away for the first time requires a small investment in certain household items. Be sure to pack laundry soap and quarters and a few essential kitchen utensils (eg can opener). Bring a fully equipped bathroom kit and don’t forget those shower shoes and bathrobe as you will be sharing with strangers.
2. Know Your Cash Flow
Living on a budget is not always easy, especially if it is your first time. Have you started shopping for yourself? Do you know how much your weekly grocery bill runs? Spend the next few weeks comparing the prices of the food you like at a variety of shops. Based on your findings, make yourself a grocery budget and see how much you have left for other expenses. Always keep a little money aside for surprises and extras.
3. Keeping in Touch With the Ones You Love
Cell phones, landlines, email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype… We live in the Age of Communication. Still, make a plan with your parents to stay in touch on a regular basis. You may be feeling nervous about leaving home, but you can rest assured, your parents will be feeling way more worried than you are. Everyone will feel a bit more relaxed if you set a regular phone or Skype date and stick to it.
Parents may not be the only ones you are leaving behind. Close friends, significant others and siblings will want to hear how you are getting on in your new life, so be sure to make a chat plan with them as well.
4. Staying Safe
You are embarking on a seriously exciting adventure as you head off to college, but you will need to keep a cool head if you want to avoid problems. Now is a good time to reflect on ways to keep yourself and your possessions safe. Basic rules like; always lock your room, never leave your things unattended in the library, put emergency numbers into your phone and make sure someone always knows where you are will go a long way to make your college experience a good one.
5. Prepare for Academic Excellence
The college experience provides many life lessons, but, ultimately, you are there to study academics. Success comes to those who are best prepared. Have you bought all the equipment? Laptop, laptop lock, flash drive, power strip with surge protection, extension cords and even printer paper are essential tools for today’s student. You can familiarize yourself with your class syllabi online. Take a little time before school starts to know what you will actually be studying. You should also be able to access a required reading list on the class home page of the university website. If you want to save some money on textbooks, try to buy them second hand, but if you buy them online, allow enough time for delivery.
6. Start Your College Social Life Now
The first person you are likely to meet on campus will be your roommate, so why not get to know this person a bit before you actually meet in person? The college should have given you his/her contact information, so take this opportunity to get to know each other. When introducing yourself, be honest, be respectful and, remember, your new roomie is in the same boat as you are. If you start off on the right foot, this new relationship could lead to the friendship of a lifetime.