moving

The Incoming College Freshman Checklist (What to Bring to College)

Congratulations, you’re officially a college freshman! This is both an exciting and frightening transition for most students. There are many things to do in the summer before college, and it can be difficult to know how to get ready. There are things to pack, people to say goodbye to, and forms to fill out. 

For those already stressing over this new life chapter, there are plenty of ways to prepare before even stepping foot in a classroom or dorm. We’ve compiled a list of all of the important must-do items, so if you work through it a little at a time – you’ll be done before you know it!

Before you arrive on campus, use the following checklist to make sure you stay on track:

1. Make a Commitment

Once you’ve made your decision about which college to attend, you’ll need to commit to that college. You may be able to do this online or you may have to do it in writing.

You’ll need to send in your deposit, complete and accept the financial aid application, and fill out any health forms that are required the summer before college. Be sure to read the information closely and promptly respond to all of the forms you receive from your college so as to not miss any deadlines. 

Read through your acceptance letter completely and take note of important dates. Dates to keep in mind may include:

  • Deadline to accept admission (and pay the acceptance fee, if applicable) 
  • Deadline to submit final high school transcript 
  • Deadline to take placement tests 
  • Deadline to apply for housing 
  • Deadline to file your financial aid documents 
  • Deadline to sign up for orientation 

2. Establish Housing

Since many colleges require incoming freshmen to live in dorms, chances are high you’re going to have a roommate. Whether you are living on campus in a dorm or off campus in an apartment or house, make sure you have your housing lined up as early as possible. If you’re staying on campus, see if you can request housing that is close to your classes so you can save time each day. 

If your college has assigned a roommate, reach out by phone, connect through social media, get to know each other, and coordinate on furnishing and decorating your dorm. 

If you are looking for off-campus housing, make sure you check out several locations that meet your budget and your needs. Also, be sure to read your lease in its entirety, so you know what your landlord expects.

3. Schedule a Campus Tour

You can walk around the campus on your own, but scheduling a guided tour will give you more insight into the different areas of campus and what you can expect on your first day. While you’re exploring campus, make sure you note where the emergency points and security office are located. Both parents and students should take time before the semester begins to become familiar with the campus’ safety resources and procedures.

If you’re attending a college out of state, use this time to explore your new location. Now’s the time to research the popular restaurants, the nearest theaters and music venues, the parks in your proximity; to research the history, culture, and local population; and to identify some of the neighborhoods, landmarks, attractions, and adjacent towns worth seeing.

4. Register for Orientation

Orientation for incoming students may be mandatory at your college, but if it isn’t – try your best to attend anyway. This is especially important if you haven’t been able to visit the college beforehand. Register for an early orientation to (hopefully) get the classes you want, as well as to familiarize yourself with the campus and to see your official dorm and cafeteria options firsthand.

Orientation is a crucial time to start making friends, research clubs and organizations, and get to know your campus environment. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ask questions and get involved. It’s important to note that everyone is going through the same thing, so don’t be shy – try to make as many connections as you can. 

5. Practice Life Skills

Your parents are most likely not heading off to college with you. This means you are responsible for your cooking, cleaning, and laundry – maybe for the first time in your life. Now is a great time to practice. Take the opportunity to learn how to cook some quick and simple meals, wash and dry your clothing properly, and clean up after yourself. 

Make sure you have established a checking and savings account that you can access to pay bills or withdraw cash as needed. These essential skills will keep your life outside the classroom on track.

6. Visit Your Doctor

Get up to date on all your vaccinations; most colleges require that you submit updated vaccination information before or during your first year.

If you have a regular or essential prescription, work with your doctor to have it transferred before you leave to a pharmacy near your campus, or get a second prescription written. In general, this is a chance to get a clean bill of health, update prescriptions, and ask your doctor any pressing questions before you leave home.

7. Start Networking

If you haven’t done this already, now would be a good time to engage with your college online. It’s a great way to participate in ongoing discussions and also familiarize yourself with the culture and lingo of the college.

One of the best ways to connect with other prospective or accepted freshmen at your university is through social media. Try searching your university with your prospective class year and see if any groups exist. Add your future school onto your profile on Facebook and LinkedIn to help encourage the connections even further.

Use this time to clean up your social media and make sure everything you post online represents your best self.

  • Double check that comments made by you and your friends are positive and professional
  • Make sure all photos (not just your profile image and cover images) are appropriate
  • Set your privacy settings accordingly 

Look for ways to get involved on campus, whether you want to join a club or team (or both). Spend some time researching the clubs and organizations related to your major, or check out some of the varsity, intramural or club sports your school hosts. Get an idea of what’s available before you get to campus so you don’t waste any time once you’re there.

8. Pack, Pack, Pack! 

The best way to feel prepared for your new adventure is knowing you’re fully prepared. Explore our college packing list for dorm room and apartment essentials. 

Before you buy or pack anything, be sure to check with your school about what items are and are not allowed. Most schools have to be very careful about health and safety regulations, and rules differ from place to place. Check out our Official College Packing List (College Must-Haves), which includes dorm room essentials (or apartment essentials), school supplies for college, and other key items for move-in day.

College move-in day can be extremely thrilling and a little scary. Even though moving into the dorms, finding your classes, and adjusting to your new surroundings can be overwhelming, remember to enjoy the experience. You’ll be making friends, discovering new hobbies, and learning more about yourself than ever before in no time!

Be sure to connect with us @ecampusdotcom on Twitter, Instagram, & Facebook for more resources, tips, and some great giveaways! And when it’s time for textbooks, eCampus.com has you covered for all your course material needs at savings up to 90%!

References: 

  1. https://blog.collegeboard.org/summer-before-college-checklist
  2. https://studentaid.gov/resources/prepare-for-college/checklists/12th-grade
  3. https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-in/making-a-decision/off-to-college-checklist
  4. https://thebestschools.org/magazine/summer-before-college/
  5. https://www.nitrocollege.com/blog/4-checklists-for-college 

From Dorm Life to Your First Apartment

Moving into my first apartment was such an exciting experience. I’ve lived on my own in the dorms for the past two years, but am now fully independent without anyone looking after me (like residential hall staff). Shopping for my apartment was in some ways similar and some ways different than shopping for a dorm room.

first apartment

First off, I had to buy kitchen supplies. I would recommend buying a cheap dinnerware set.  It’s college,  items are bound to get broken or lost, so I really didn’t find it necessary to invest in a super nice set of dishes. As far as cups go, I just bought a cheap set of four glasses to add to my collection of free cups I’ve gotten from campus events. Silverware is super cheap; I bought mine for $1 per set of four. When it comes to pots and pans, stick to the bare minimum. All you will need is two to three of each to get by. When shopping for these items don’t forget that thrift stores and yard sales will often be your best friend!

Luckily, I had a lot of items for my bedroom from the past two years, but I did have to go out and buy new bedding (I now have a full-sized bed as opposed to a twin extra -long). I bought a complete bed-in-a-bag set from Walmart for about $40.

As far as some general items go, I would highly recommend bringing cleaning supplies when you first move in. My apartment looked as if it had barely been cleaned prior to move in day, so a nice scrub of the place isn’t a bad idea. It’s also definitely a good idea to communicate with your roommates and see who can contribute what. Depending on how many people are in your apartment, there’s no need to have multiple dining sets. Sharing is fine and splitting the cost is even better! It’s a good idea to sit down and make a list of what you have and what you need for your home away from home. It’s tempting to buy lots of fancy new stuff, but the reality is that it’s just not necessary.

What are some items you’ve either been glad you bought or that you found you didn’t actually need?

The Ultimate Dorm Essentials Checklist

Freaking out about moving into the dorms this fall, or know someone who is? I know when I was moving into the dorms I was a mess. When I was making a list of everything I needed I kept leaving things off. It’s really hard to think of all the stuff you are going to need. Thankfully, this checklist has all the essentials on it and you won’t have to worry about whether or not you have everything. Makes everything so much easier! Take it with you when you go dorm shopping, share it with your friends, or just share it in general! It will come in handy when you get that feeling that you’re forgetting something. You can also download and print the PDF version of our Dorm Essentials Checklist here.

Embed this Checklist on your Blog!

Moving Back Home for Summer

The school year is coming to a close and for most of us that means returning home to our families. How do you live with your family again after a year on your own? Although excited to see them, who wants to go back to rules or maybe even curfews? Living well over the summer with your family is very important because its only 3 months out of the year. Here’s the how to.

When returning to your family, go with a clear mind. Don’t spend your time thinking about all the things you will be missing out on in your college town. Don’t think about all the old rules and chores you may be returning to. Instead, think about the positives. Odds are, your family misses you very much and can’t wait to see you. Think about home cooked meals, good times with the family, and reuniting with high school friends.

One of the hard parts about going home is dividing your time evenly between loved ones. Obviously your family misses you very much and wants to consume large amounts of your free time. High school friends will be calling and excited to hang out. A lot of times, it’s hard to not blow off the family when you’re excited about seeing your friends again. Be careful about equalizing your time as much as possible because you don’t want anyone that you rarely see to feel left out. Maybe try grilling out with the family then meeting up with some friends later. Compromise is the key.

In college we get used to doing what we want, when we want. We are adults for that matter. We go out when we want, come home when we want, eat what we want, say what we want, and spend money when we want. If we want to, we can let dishes sit in the sink for a week, not vacuum our room and we can blast our stereos at their maximum capacity. It’s hard to get used to the old when we’ve finally broken out on our own. Parents often expect to know where you’re going, who you’re with, and what you’re doing at all times. A lot of parents don’t see the fact that you’ve gone to college as a free pass to let you do whatever you want. How do we get used to old rules?

My advice would be to talk to your parents and attempt some sort of happy medium which can make you both happy. Maybe suggest having no curfew if you stay in communication and let them know where you are. All it takes is two seconds to send a text message and inform your parents now a day. Obviously, sloppiness has to go. You’re most likely going to be expected to do some of your old odd jobs around the house and to be somewhat tidy. Keep clean without the complaints, I mean, you have 3 months of free room and board, it’s the least you can do. Common curtsies will be of most importance. For 3 months, be kind and pay attention to the little things that might bother your family.

You’ve gone the entire school year without your younger sibling’s annoying ways. Although we love them, we all know how little brothers/sisters can be. It’s hard to go back home and live with a little sibling again. Just remember you are more mature now and under control. If they start their antagonizing ways, just ignore them. Odds are, they’ve missed you a lot and your relationship will be different when you return home. As you’ve aged and grown, so have they. Just try and be patient and most importantly, a good role model.

Put these tips to use and live well this summer with your loved ones. Families are irreplaceable, and attitudes are spoilers. Go with a warm smile and a kind heart, and really soak in those 3 months at home.

-Speedy G.

I’m reading America’s History

Moving Back In With Your Parents

Moving back in with your parents sucks. After moving into my freshman dorm and gaining a new found sense of freedom, I took a blood oath to never move back home. I did well in school so I’d be able to get a good paying job right out of college. I did so well in fact that I graduated a semester earlier than most of my friends. When I moved back home to start my job search, my best friends still had leases throughout the summer; meaning that I would be forced to live with my parents for two months.

If you find yourself in a similar situation this summer or next semester, here are a few tips in order to peacefully coexist with your parental unit:

1. Volunteer for household chores and yard work

The best thing you can do to keep your parents off your back is to volunteer for the stuff they don’t want to do. If your dad is bitching about the yard needing to be mowed, go ahead and cut it for him while he’s at work. If your mom says that the kitchen floor is filthy, mop it for her. These small acts of kindness go a long way; you’re parents will definitely paint you in a better light. Instead of calling you a lazy bum, they might help you pay the deposit on a new place of your own!

2. Do your own laundry

You don’t necessarily have to paint the entire house or build a new deck to show your parents you can pull your own weight. The easiest way to avoid domestic conflict is to do your own laundry. Your mother wiped your ass as an infant and cleaned the grass stains out of your jeans as a toddler, cleaning up after you has definitely lost its luster. If you really want to impress the folks, do their laundry while your at it.

3. Buy your own groceries

I’m not saying that you should purchase ALL of your own groceries. Free food is probably one of the ONLY perks to living with your parents. I do recommend that you buy all of your own booze. Mom might buy your favorite frozen pizza, but she won’t buy your favorite brand of tequila.

4. Eat at the dinner table

We never ate at the dinner table growing up; I always ate in front of the TV in the living room. If you really want to thank your parents for a home cooked meal, propose that you all sit at the dinner table. You can play video games and ignore  your parents all day long if you have a healthy conversation at supper.

5. If you’re looking for a job, keep your parents updated with your progress

Most people are forced to move back home for financial reasons. If you are in between jobs or just starting to look, keep your folks in the loop with your progress. I know job hunting is very frustrating, but try to apply for new positions every week. Your parents will inevitably ask you about it, so you might as well be proactive and be one step ahead of them.

 

Fox

I’m reading Business Law Today