By: Contributor On: August 18, 2011 In: Starting College, Student Life, Uncategorized Comments: 2

Whether you’re starting college for the first time this fall or heading back to school for your second, third or fourth year, you can never be too prepared. As summer draws to a close, it’s time to start thinking about not only what to bring with you to college, but also what you can do to make the coming year as successful and enjoyable as possible.

We’ve gone through our site and compiled some of the most useful information and advice, so you can find everything you need to know about preparing for college right here.

1. Complete the paperwork.

Before you get too excited and start throwing all your earthly belongings into suitcases, make sure you’ve taken care of any paperwork needed from the college or university you’ll be attending.

Last-minute paperwork could include things like housing forms or choosing a meal plan. Taking care of this paperwork as early as possible will make the process of moving or heading back to school much easier.

2. Pack what you need.

Starting to pack when you are moving to college or heading back to school can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are trying to pack up the past 18 years of your life!

Keep in mind that most dorm rooms are quite small, so try to stick to the essential supplies you need to pack for college. Most US college dorm rooms are also furnished, so you won’t need to worry about bringing any furniture.

If you’re trying to really cut down on how much you need to pack, remember that you can purchase things like towels, sheets and new toiletries once you get to school.

3. Get to know your roommate.

Getting in touch with your college roommate is a great way of starting a social life on campus before you even arrive. After all, your roommate is likely to be your first friend at college.

It’s also practical to touch base with your roommate to find out what each of you is bringing to college. Maybe you can bring the TV for the room and she can bring the mini-fridge. Some roommates even plan on a color scheme for their room in advance, so they can pick out matching linens.

4. Adjust your sleep schedule.

If you haven’t been working a 9 to 5 summer job, chances are you (and your body) won’t be prepared to get up early for college classes. Before heading back to school, try to get into a routine of waking up before noon. That way you can reset your internal clock and wake up for that 9 a.m. econ lecture.

5. Flex your thinking muscles.

Hopefully your brain has been getting some exercise over the summer, but if you’ve been laying out on the beach and catching up on your favorite TV shows for the majority of your vacation, starting college classes may be a bit of a shock to your system.

Before heading back to school, try to do some reading or even some brainteasers, such as crossword puzzles and Sudoku, so that you and your brain will be in tip-top shape and ready for some heavy thinking.

Back-to-school preparations may seem like a hassle, but the more you do to prepare yourself for the move to college over the summer, the more you will be able to enjoy yourself upon starting classes in the fall. Whether you are starting college for the first time, or heading back to school for your final year, tips such as these will help to make the transition as easy as possible.

What back-to-school tips can you share?

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9 years ago

If you’re going to be living in a dorm with communal bathrooms, make sure to bring shower shoes and a shower caddy to hold all your toiletries. Also, bring a bathrobe! It can feel awfully uncomfortable walking through the hall in nothing but a towel.

9 years ago

On the flip-side to #2, leave out the stuff you don’t need. By your second or third year, you’ll probably notice a few things you bring along with you to school that you never use, except to lug it around during move-in and move-out. Save yourself some hassle and don’t bring anything you’re not going to use — especially if it’s awkward or heavy.