FAQ About Preparing For Freshman Year

The summer before freshman year of college can be a stressful time, and you no doubt have questions about what to do and what to expect. Here are some freshman year of college tips and frequently asked questions answered.

How Much Should I Pack?

This is a common problem for freshman students who tend to pack too little or too much. The best way to avoid this is to keep a running list of what you’ll need to bring to your dorm. Start with the essentials (blanket, pillow, toothbrush, etc) and then work your way towards your wants. What are some books or hobbies you want to bring with you? Curate the list during the summer. You may realize you don’t need to bring all of your favorite books or you might find you haven’t set aside enough clothes.

You’ll also quickly learn in your first semester what you forgot to bring or what you could have left at home. Make sure to change the list for your second semester of your sophomore year!

Should I Buy All My Textbooks As Soon As Possible?

Most of your courses will ask that you purchase a textbook, but you may want to consider waiting on this, especially if the book is extremely expensive. Some professors give you time to get the text, so it’s not always a necessity on the first day of class (you may want to check with your teacher on this though). The reason to wait however is that some professors request that you have a textbook, but then on the first day of the course state that it’s up to you if you really want to get it. It’s an easy way to throw away over $100, so you might want to double-check first.

Should I Do All My General Education Requirements First?

Some professors or peers will suggest getting your general education requirements out of the way, but, in the end, this decision is entirely up to you. It might make sense though to mix some of your intended major courses with your GE requirements as many of your major’s classes may require prerequisites. This will allow you to easily take the more advanced courses in later years without worry. For your GE’s, try taking classes that interest you. Ask your adviser if you’re not quite sure what you should be taking.

What If I’m Not Positive About My Major?

Many students go into college “undecided” about their major, so if you’re still on the fence, you have time to figure that out. Most schools don’t request that you formally declare your major until the end of your sophomore year. In the meantime, check out the courses that interest you the most. You may find your calling in those classes.

What Shouldn’t I Bring to My Dorm?

There will no doubt be a list of items you shouldn’t bring to your dorm room. Your school probably has a list on their website. Commonly banned items are weapons, alcohol (if you’re under 21, but some schools also ban it completely), microwaves, portable burners, candles, space heaters, and pets. Every college is different however and some may even allow the items listed above, so make sure to check their requirements.

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