Excitement is growing and the time is flying by—before you know it you’ll be moving on campus and kicking off your freshman year! The summer before college is a great time to prepare for the transition. Besides the obvious preparations like packing up your room and saying your goodbyes, there are a few big ticket items you should check off.
I somewhat prepared for college, but I really didn’t know what to prepare for. I didn’t ask my older college friends what to do or even look online for suggestions. Instead I just winged it, and while it worked out fine… I definitely would have been less stressed had I done a little more to prepare! So, 3 years later going into my senior year, here I am hoping to help you to prepare and check some things off that pre-college to-do list!
1. Connect with your roommate! The more you get to know them now the better. I would suggest texting your roommate occasionally about dorm decorations, classes, or orientation. Following them on social media is also a great way to feel connected. If you have the opportunity to meet in person I 100% recommend it. I met my college roommate for an afternoon and we also went to the same orientation together. It really helped to already know her before move-in!
2. Buy dorm and clothing necessities. A fun way to get excited about your move to college is by purchasing dorm décor and new clothes! Tanger Outlets is the perfect shopping destination for all of your college dorm and clothes needs. This way you spend less time and money shopping, but don’t sacrifice style! I recommend going through your closet at home and figuring out what you need more of, less of, etc. That way your college wardrobe is as versatile and useful as possible. I am loving these looks from one of my faves, Lucky Brand.
3. Research on campus opportunities. Something I didn’t do that I wish I had is research campus involvement activities and clubs prior to getting to college. Usually, colleges have a fair or event where you can go to tables different clubs have set up. It’s all a little overwhelming, so I recommend researching 2-3 clubs or activities you’re serious about committing to prior to the big transition. Being involved makes freshman year much more smooth and rewarding.
4. Research textbook prices and professors. While I highly recommend waiting until after syllabus week to buy textbooks it never hurts to look early. Price compare on sites like Amazon and Chegg. Researching your professors can be quite the feat. Rate my professor is probably the most used source and some colleges (like Clemson) have online grade distribution sites. More than anything this step will prepare you mentally for college.
5. Make a game plan. Want to study abroad one semester? Interested in rushing? Need more scholarships? Make a checklist of everything you’re considering doing. The earlier you approach your interests the more likely they are to be fulfilled.
6. Get familiar with your college’s websites. College’s usually have all sorts of online portals for anything from paying tuition bills, getting a parking pass, seeing your transcript, buying books, and adding or dropping classes. The earlier you get familiar with these websites the more time you’ll save yourself first semester.
7. Clean up your social media and get a LinkedIn. Even if you don’t want to completely clean out your social accounts consider upping your privacy settings. LinkedIn is all about networking and presence. The sooner you start attacking it the sooner it will be a resource for internships, jobs, and connections.
8. Make sure you’re all set health wise. Going to the dentist, doctor, eye-doctor, etc is a must do before college (especially if you’re out of state or won’t have a car)! Also, get all your prescriptions in line and figure out how to transfer them on or near campus.
9. Stock up on toiletries and essentials. Before I went to college my mom bought me a 6-month supply of razors, shampoo, toothpaste, deodorant, and other toiletries. I also bought a stash of general over the counter medicines like ibuprofen, cold medicine, flu medicine, eye drops etc. This might seem like such a small thing, but the first time I got sick in college I was so grateful to have it!
10. Less is more. I know it’s a difficult task, but remember you aren’t going to the middle of nowhere! You can always buy something if you forget it, have your parents send it to you, or get it during breaks. Plus you’re bound to buy new things during the semester!
I hope this list helps during the few more weeks leading up to the start of classes! Tag me in your summer college preparations and adventures @TangerOutlets with #StudentLife. Questions or general thoughts? Comment below!