If you’re nervous about going to college in the US, one of the best ways to ease stress is to write a checklist. The tasks you need to do before going to college can feel overwhelming, but a checklist can break it all down.

Below, we’ve created our own college checklist, which may give you some ideas you haven’t yet considered. But don’t forget to check your school’s website, too! It may provide a few tips specific to your school, such as policies, weather-related warnings and any dorm furnishings that are already provided by the college.

Furnishing Your Dorm Before Going to College

  • Buy extra-long sheets for your dorm mattress unless otherwise specified by your school.
  • Pack towels and a robe for the shower.
  • Buy flip flops or shower shoes if your dorm has a community bathroom.
  • Bring plenty of quarters, detergent and a laundry basket.
  • Take a can opener and a small set of dishes and cups/mugs.
  • Bring a computer with a printer (and don’t forget your charger and connection wires!).
  • Pack duct tape, a screwdriver and other small tools to make quick fixes.
  • Bring earplugs in case your roommate is a noisy sleeper.

Keep in mind that if you’re an international student or will be flying rather than driving to campus, a lot of the above items (such as detergent and cups/mugs) can easily be purchased once you arrive. So there’s no need to bring 5 bags of luggage.

Familiarizing Yourself with a New Campus and New People

  • Contact your roommate to discuss who will bring the microwave, mini fridge, TV and whatever other items you might want to have in your dorm room.
  • Attend any mixers and join any Facebook groups that help new students meet before college begins.
  • Visit campus at least once, if you can, to find your dorm and nearby amenities like supermarkets, pharmacies and restaurants.
  • Check out the campus gym and food options before going off to college.
  • Find out where you can park or what public transportation options are available.

Being Responsible

  • Memorize your Social Security number before going to college.
  • Make a budget for the school year.
  • Update your resume if you plan to get a job soon.
  • Choose your meal plan.
  • Select your courses carefully (and sooner rather than later!).
  • Make sure you understand your financial aid package.
  • Know what not to bring to your dorm, such as a hot plate or candles.
  • Know how your health insurance plan works.

You might need some assistance from your parents before going to college, and most are happy to help. For example, if you got financial aid or health insurance with their help, they should be able to explain how your plan works.

Parents can also usually assist with creating a budget, selecting a meal plan and shopping for the items you need before going to college. Asking them for help will probably make their day! Plus, you might not see them for a while if you are going away to college, so why not use their expertise while you still can?

Consider comparing this checklist with the ones compiled by your friends who are also going to college, whether or not they are going to the same school as you. This way, you can feel confident that you haven’t missed anything, and you can spend time this summer relaxing and enjoying these last few weeks at home with your family and friends.

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    • Bianca Williams
    • May 03, 2012
    • Reply

    Great, straight forward tips – thank you for sharing!

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