Once you arrive on campus, it will be a whirlwind of orientations and events, and it can feel overwhelming. If you take care of a few tasks before you leave for school, it can make the transition much more smooth. Here are some ideas to help you get ready to leave for college.
1. Price-Shop For Your Textbooks
If you already have registered for classes, see if the required book list is available. Many students sell their used textbooks to incoming students for a better price than the bookstore. The campus bookstore will be very busy as the semester begins, and if you order your books online you can save yourself from long lines. You might be able to get a better price as well.
2. Research Transportation Options
Once you are at school, do you know how you will get around? Have you thought about a bike or scooter to get around? If you’re planning to have a car with you, find out what the fees and requirements are for parking on campus. See if your school offers a free or subsidized pass for public transportation.
3. Investigate Banking Options
Do you bank with a national chain or a local credit union? Have you checked to see if there is a local branch in your new town? Does your bank have ATM’s near campus if you need to pull out some cash? Check your bank’s website to see if you’ll be able to take care of your banking needs in your college town. If you need to set up a new bank account, consider opening one that has locations in your home and school towns.
4. Check Your Healthcare Coverage
Many colleges require students to be covered by a healthcare plan. Will you have medical insurance through your parents or enroll in a plan through your school? Do some research to see which doctors and hospitals are covered under your plan. If you take maintenance medications, have your doctor prescribe several months of refills. Request to have your prescriptions transferred to a new pharmacy near your school. See if your school has a campus health clinic, or if you will have to find a new doctor.
5. Forward Your Mail
If you’re leaving for college, you surely want to have your mail follow you. To have your mail forwarded to you, submit your postal change of address form. The form allows you to select permanent or temporary forwarding, so you can decide if you want to get mail at home between semesters. Notify any companies that you have ongoing payments with (cell phone, credit card) of your new address so you don’t miss payments during your transition.
6. Collect Moving Supplies
Do you know how much “stuff” you’re bringing to college? Can you fit it into duffel bags and suitcases? Will you need boxes? Take an inventory of what you plan to bring with you to college. If you need to pack things in boxes, you can start collecting them ahead of time. Having a few extra boxes on hand can save you headaches on moving day.
7. Contact New Roommates
Many dorm rooms and college apartments are short on storage space, so it’s good to coordinate items like electronics and kitchen appliances. Housing offices and landlords often disclose your roommate assignments a few weeks prior to the semester beginning. Avoid having more toasters than you need by coordinating ahead of time. Getting to know your roommates ahead of time can also help you feel more comfortable once you begin living together.