5 Important Things to Do Before College Starts

It’s the summer before your college education begins – are you ready? This is an exciting but often stressful and hectic time in your life, so you want to be sure you have all your ducks in a row before heading off to your first semester! Here are 5 important things to do before college starts.

A building on the University of Iowa campus.

Research Your Classes

Picking your first classes for college can be a lot of fun. You often have general requirements to cover first, so you’ll want to select those before anything else. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t select classes that interest you. You may find a history course that’s right up your alley and fits a history requirement. Or you might want to take up a brand new language to satisfy the language requirement.

Now is the time to explore you’re different options and do some research into the various courses your school offers. Are there some teachers that are recommended over others? Or some classes that sound interesting but all the reviews online tell you the opposite?

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Attend Orientation

Most colleges will offer an orientation for their incoming freshman. These are usually mandatory, so you definitely don’t want to skip it. These get togethers will cover different information based on the school but you could expect to see group building activities, tests for placement (including language and math), class selection, dorm room and roommate selection, and more.

Your school will most likely provide literature on what you will be doing when you sign up for your orientation dates. And tip: Don’t delay on signing up for orientation! Waiting could mean you get a less-than-ideal weekend.

Get to Know Your Roommate

Most times you will get paired up with another freshman roommate. Summer is the perfect opportunity to get to know them. Try reaching out over social media and see if they will chat a bit about their interests, schedule, and plans for your dorm room. Which leads us to the next step…

Plan Your Dorm Room

Another exciting aspect about heading to college is planning out your dorm room. You can start thinking about your setup, what you’ll hang on the walls, and how you may want to suggest decorating the common area. It’s a good idea though to run these by your roommates though!

You should also be writing out a packing list. Did you know that most freshman overpack for their first semester? Think about what you absolutely need first and work from there.

Organize your Finances

It may not be the most enjoyable task this summer, but one thing you need to do before college begins is organize your finances. This means making sure your college is paid for, you have access to needed cash, and you’ve talked to your parents about other costs including food, books, and general living expenses. If you don’t have a bank account or savings account yet, now is the time to open one.

The summer before a student heads off to college definitely has a lot going on! However, planning ahead when it comes to your classes, dorm room, and orientation can help ensure that your first fall semester goes smoothly!


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