It's that time again! Most students attending college will be starting school in the coming weeks, and as move-in day and the first day of classes approach, now is a good time to make sure you're all set to begin the semester. Once you know you're ready to go, you can sit back and enjoy what remains of your summer, possibly even squeezing in a last-minute camping trip or road trip.
- First, and most importantly, make sure your bills are paid. Have you gotten a tuition statement from your school? How about a financial aid award notice if you're using financial aid to pay for school? Make sure you've signed everything you need to sign, especially if it's your first year of college. Also check with scholarship providers and your financial aid office if you have not yet received any scholarship money you've been awarded for the fall or heard about your school receiving it.
- Be aware of dates and deadlines. When do classes start? When is financial aid disbursed? When is your bill due? When can you move into your dorm or apartment? Is there an orientation program you need to attend before school starts? Do you still need to register or choose classes? Write down all the important dates and times you have to remember for the start of the term and make sure you don't have any scheduling conflicts.
- Look for syllabi and book lists online for your courses, while also making sure that no classes has been canceled, rescheduled, or given to a different instructor in your absence. Comparison shop for textbooks, especially if your bookstore lists prices on the website, and buy as many books online as possible.
- Know what you need to bring. Talk with roommates if you're going to have any to make sure you don't bring duplicate items or have to go without important items. A lack of communication and planning can leave you with an odd assortment like three couches, five floor lamps, two coffee tables and four end tables, but no microwave or silverware.
- Pack and plan your move well in advance. If you're moving into a dorm or apartment, make sure you know what you plan to bring and whether it will fit into available vehicles. If you need to reserve a moving truck, do so soon. The better an idea you have of what you're bringing and what size space you're moving into, the better you'll be able to coordinate the move. Also, leaving packing until the last minute leads to leaving things behind, such as your toothbrush and razor, your favorite DVD, or that ugly dress your mom swore she'd throw out the second you weren't looking (and don't you think she won't do it). While some of this stuff can be bought at college, you'll have to do without the rest until your next visit home (or possibly forever if you have younger siblings angling to annex your bedroom and all abandoned possessions).
While the above items are likely not all you'll have to take care of before you leave (convincing your dad that they do oil changes in your college town is a project in itself), they should help you get started and ease your transition back to school