As many college students are about to begin their journey of higher education, I thought it would be nice to provide some ideas of things for them to do before going off to their university and starting college in the fall.
15 things to do before going back to school
Rather than waiting to buy your books the first week of school, or waiting an hour on a line in the mailroom (true story, kids), I highly recommend getting your books before school starts. You’ll have some peace of mind, you can review the material, plus you’ll be able to figure out whether or not you’ll actually use this book. If you’re not in buying the book, then rent it. If the bookstore is too expensive (it usually is), then go find it on Amazon or eBay. Be resourceful!
Review your course schedule
You likely did this at orientation, but if you still aren’t really sure what you’ll be learning come fall, take some time to really look at your course descriptions. Think about what you’re excited for. Think about the way you’ll have to study for each class. Just do your best to be prepared. Also, you may figure out that you have a class too far from another, so this may be a time to make some changes before you step on campus.
Do a closet cleanout
This for me is a summer fav! You are probably thinking about what will be best to wear for fall. Do yourself a favor and figure it out now! It’s better to realize there’s a jacket you need to buy and a dress you don’t wear in the summertime than it is when your parents are far away and can’t drop off clothes for you.
Book tickets to travel back to school
If you go to school far away (Like me – 9 hours is a lot!), then you’ve got to book those tickets early. Figure out which family members are going with you, when you want to leave, and what you will do when you arrive in your college town. Are you going to Bed, Bath, and Beyond for a mattress topper or are you heading straight to the dorm to drop off your clothes?
Get notebooks and school supplies beforehand
Honestly, as much as I enjoy the bookstore, it is too expensive to justify spending $5 – $10 on one notebook just because it has the school’s name on it. Get everything beforehand. You won’t be stressed thinking about how you need a backpack when classes start tomorrow.
Make a list of your priorities for that semester & stick to it
It is important to have the right mindset going into the school year. You may have some habits from your senior year that you want to break. Maybe you are trying to stay super close to your home friends. Make a list and refer to it whenever you make plans or are making a to-do list. School is important but so is your mental health. Make sure you balance out all your priorities as the school year goes along.
Have a friend date
Before you leave, get together with all your close friends and spend time together. Go to the movies, have a sleepover, or go to the city for dinner. My close friends and I always do something because we have birthdays the end of summer and so we always exchange gifts. Get some last-minute love from your besties!
Log out of Netflix and Hulu and Amazon Prime
If you want to stop procrastination, this one is key. Keep yourself out of temptation. Get your siblings to change your passwords, have a block-site app on your computer, just do everything you can to stop yourself from falling into the Netflix/Hulu binge trap. Also keep in mind that if you stay in your dorm room binging, it’ll be harder to make friends. Just sayin’.
Buy a few new pieces for outfits
It’s back to school season. Treat yourself to some new items. Maybe you have a skirt in mind, or there’s a jacket you’ve been eyeing. Find some new clothes or accessories that’ll get you excited about starting school in the fall.
Review and make a list of goals
If you’re entering your sophomore year like me, you have some things you know you want to do better and goals you want to achieve. Review your past semester and make a list of goals to hit. Write them down and stick them on your bulletin board or make sticky notes for your planner.
Buy a planner
You need a planner. If you haven’t started using a planner, get one. I always get mine from Target every year. Get one on Amazon. Use Google Calendar. Do what you must to plan out your to-do lists every day and get a monthly view of what’s going on in your life.
Go dorm shopping – be sustainable
Dorm shopping can honestly be expensive, and if you have a ton of siblings, you’d want to be nice and give your parents a break somehow. Go to a thrift store. Go to a flea market. You’ll find some unique items, it’ll be a deep search for some cool finds, and you won’t be contributing to waste because you’ll be recycling items. It won’t cost you a lot of money. These are all good reasons to head over to your local Goodwill.
Talk to your roommate
Whether you met on Facebook or you’ve known each other for all of high school, it’ll be good to really spend some time with them. Set some ground rules. Plan to spend a day together getting to know one another. What habits do both of you have? Do you have experience living with a roommate? What are some things that are not allowed? Who is buying the fridge? Are you sharing clothes? Figure these things out before they become a problem.
Spend a day with your family
You are leaving the nest, either for the first time or once again, and you want to make sure you treasure the remaining time you have left with your families. Make some memories. Take some photos. Eat some home-cooked meals. Annoy your siblings but always leave them with hugs. Just tell them that you love them because you won’t be around for much longer.
Talk to your college friends
If you’re headed back to school like me, you know the first weekend of college after move-in day is so much fun! Your university will have so many activities set up. Text some of your friends and let them know you’re counting the days down until you meet!
Have an amazing semester!
Which one of these tips was most useful for you?