Before heading off to college, make sure every task on your ‘to do’ list has been completed so there will be no unpleasant surprises when you arrive and your term begins. You have probably taken care of everything but, when people are excited and nervous as most of us are when embarking on a new adventure, it’s a good idea to double check everything important.
Make Sure These 10 Tasks Are Completed
It is particularly important to have all your arrangements in place if you are going to a new city or a new country or moving away from home or moving to a new place even within a familiar city:
- Money Arranged – Make sure your funds from savings, parents, loans, grants, and/or scholarships have been processed so that your money is there when you need it.
- Accommodations Available – Check that the accommodations you have arranged are available, and you will be able to move in when you arrive at your destination, especially if you are coming from some distance.
- Have Crucial Items With You – Safely transport crucial items with you:
- glasses and contacts
- prescription medications
- ID – and passport, if needed
- receipts for deposits on your apartment or room
- phone and important contact numbers
- credit card(s)
- bank account numbers and passwords
– and make sure everything is in a safe place where you can get what you need easily on your journey or when you arrive.
- Class Registration Accepted – Check that you are registered for the classes and program that you have selected. Sometimes programs or classes are cancelled if not enough people have registered. Know ahead of time what to expect so that you will have time to substitute a different class or course if you have to make a last minute change.
- Travel Arrangements Checked – Confirm your flight reservations, train or bus schedules, or ensure that the car transporting you to college will be ready. Make sure you can leave at the time you have planned or can arrange other transportation if there are problems with the plans you’ve made.
- Events Calendar Organized – Set up your calendar of important events (either print or electronic) and record key dates for college life, including when classes begin and end, exam dates, and vacation days, as well as personal events such as family and friend birthday reminders and dates, work schedules, child care schedules if you have children or a family with you, and any other reminders that will help you juggle your responsibilities.
- Health Care Arranged – Have medical and dental checkups and all your prescriptions renewed before you begin your college life. If you are moving to a new city, make sure you know where to find a clinic, a hospital, a doctor, and a dentist near your new residence or near the college. Find out what medical and counseling serves are available at your college, and make sure your medical coverage and insurances are up to date.
- Finances Organized – Set up a budget with monthly expenses estimated, and a spending log to record the money you spend each month on essentials—accommodation, food, books, fees, personal items, etc.—and the money you spend on extras—fun, entertainment, gifts, clothes, etc. Make sure you always know how much money you have on hand, what you can afford to fritter away, and what you need for expenses coming up.
- Important Items for New Accommodations Purchased – To the extent that you can bring items with you, buy whatever you can ahead of time. If that isn’t possible, plan to arrive a day or two early so that you have time to shop for a desk lamp if needed and other study essentials, bedding, if it isn’t supplied, laundry supplies, computer supplies, locks, paper, battery charger, iron, etc.
- Seasonal Clothes Packed – Make sure you have appropriate clothes, shoes, and boots needed for the changing seasons. If you have to purchase clothes during the year and you are on a tight budget, check out second-hand and discount stores.
Good planning is essential and it’s important to have completed everything on your ‘to do’ list before you start college. The money, the time, and the inconvenience of forgetting something important can add unnecessary stress and worry at a time when you should be hassle-free to adjust to college life, studies, and making new friends. Double check your list to be sure you have taken care of all the crucial items.
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