Have you just graduated from high school? Have you received an acceptance letter from a college or university? Have you already committed or are you considering committing to a school? We have a list of things you should get started on over the summer in order to be fully prepared for your upcoming year as a freshman in college.

  • Read Your College Email – Your college email address is used for lots of important information. Keep an eye out for emails that are coming in from your school to make sure you are completing everything you need.
  • Join Your School Facebook Groups – Join your school’s official page to stay up to date with any announcements and information. Your school may also have other related groups which you can use to meet other students or check out some clubs on campus.
  • Follow Your School On Social Media – Check out your school’s pages on Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, SnapChat and more. Follow these pages to stay up to date with any news from your school.
  • Check For Last-Minute Scholarships – Sometimes there are scholarships that open during the summer before school starts. Even if there were no scholarships available at the end of spring, check periodically to see if any new ones are added throughout the summer.
  • Check Out Any Clubs Or Teams You Would Like To Join – Your school’s website and social media pages will have information about clubs and teams you may want to be involved with. Find out more information and do some research about these clubs online before making those decisions and you’ll be ahead of the game.
  • Visit The Campus & Residence Halls – Sign up to take a tour of the campus and/or residence halls that you may be staying in. This will help you to make a decision when signing up for your housing. Knowing where the buildings are on campus will also help when signing up for your course schedule.
  • Learn More About The City/State/Country Of Your School – If you are moving to a new city, state or country for school, take some time to learn more about where you will be living over the next year. Take some time to map out some places of interest that you can explore by yourself or with other students.
  • Find Out What Is Around Your Campus – Go around and check out the area to find the closest grocery stores, restaurants, and entertainment. This will make planning easier when you do need to grab something from the store.
  • Determine If You Will Have A Car On Campus – Figure out if you will need a car for the upcoming semester. If you do decide to bring a car to school, look into the parking permit requirements and where those parking lots are. You may need to get a permit for your campus as well as your residence hall parking lot.
  • Confirm Term Dates – Double check your school’s term dates. Check the calendar available on the school website to confirm your semester start & end dates, breaks, final exams, and the residence hall move-in dates.
  • Check Out Summer Pre-College Programs – Check with your school to see if they have summer programs for incoming freshmen. Sometimes they may even have programs that give college course credit.
  • Browse The School’s Website – The school website will have everything from course and major information, news and updates, campus services, student handbooks, school policies and anything else you might need. This is a good resource for you to turn to when you need more information.
  • Read Through The Student Handbook – This is something that should be done by every incoming student. The handbook not only includes information about the school but also includes many of the school’s policies which the students may not be aware of. Be more prepared, and know what to expect by reading the school handbook before starting school.
  • Determine Your Major And Course Plan – You may want to talk to an advisor in order to create your academic plan. Once you have determined what major you want to pursue, you will know which courses you will need to sign up for. If you are not sure about your major, it may be best to start with General Education courses.
  • Enroll In Classes – Make sure you enroll early so you can guarantee a spot in the courses you need for your freshman year. A lot of these courses may be generalized courses or prerequisites for your future semesters, so they may fill up quickly.
  • Apply For Housing – You should sign up for your preferred Residence Hall. At this time, you will also determine if you have a roommate preference and sometimes even fill out a survey to match you with the best roommates.
  • Make Sure You Get Your ID – You will need to apply for a school identification card. This is important to keep with you on campus and can even qualify you for discounts around town. Make a list of what places around you offer student discounts for the school year.
  • Plan With Your Roommate – It is important to get to know and become friendly with your roommate. It is also important to plan out what items each of you will bring. You probably won’t need 2 sets of everything for your residence hall room and planning ahead of time will help you avoid this situation.
  • Self-Advocate – This is the first time for many students that they are living away from their parents. Self-advocating is a necessary skill for independent living. You will need to make your own decisions and provide for yourself.
  • Accept Any Pending Financial Aid & Scholarships – After the financial aid application has been completed and the process has begun, you will need to check in to see what financial aid or scholarships are offered to you. You will need to accept the pending aid and complete the required steps in order to receive the aid.
  • Get Yourself On A Schedule/Agenda – Part of starting to live independently is that you are now in charge of your own schedule. You will need to practice scheduling out your time and adhering to your commitments. Practice setting aside time for school, work, homework, studying, leisure, friends and sleep!
  • Look For Work-Study Programs – If you have signed up for a work-study program or are looking for a work-study job, start your search during the summer before. If there is a particular job that interests you or would benefit you with your major, apply for those jobs ahead of time. Certain positions will fill up faster than others.
  • Check Out The Disability Support Center – The disability support center is there for those who may need it. If you think you may need their services or are interested in seeing if you qualify, contact them to discuss this with someone. If you do not need these services, you can also check in with their volunteer or job opportunities during the school year.
  • Go To Your Doctor – Go to your Primary Care Physician and get a pre-college physical and all the required immunizations. These may vary depending on if you will be living on campus, or if you will be going abroad. Keep in mind if you plan on studying abroad for an upcoming semester as well, since these typically require a set of immunizations over a period of time.
  • Check Your Schools Health Insurance & Health Centers – Many schools require that their students have health insurance. If you already have health insurance, you may need to decline the schools offer for insurance. If you do not have insurance, you should look at the plans offered to you by the school and consider if they meet your needs. Also, many schools have on-campus health centers to help students in medical and mental health non-emergency situations.
  • Tuition Insurance – Look into tuition insurance to protect yourself in case you have to withdraw from school any time during the semester. People don’t typically plan on having to withdraw from school, but it’s important to be protected in case you do.
  • Renters Insurance – Whether you are living on campus or off campus, you will need to protect your belongings and liability with renters insurance. Many housing places or landlords may require you to have renters insurance with liability coverage. Be sure to check with them to see if they have a minimum liability requirement.
  • Find Your Campus Resources – Check out your school’s directory or campus map to find out what resources are available to you and where they are located on campus. If you need an advisor, program director, mental health services, tutoring, library or any other service, it will be good to know where they are located. These may also be places where you can volunteer time during the semester.
  • Clean Up After Yourself – If there are any household chores that you aren’t quite sure about how to do, this is the time to learn how to do them. You will need to do your own laundry, dishes, vacuuming, dusting, cleaning, putting away items, etc. You should get yourself into the habit of doing these things on your own and as often as needed.
  • Verify Your Residence Hall Restrictions – Many residence halls will have restrictions on what students are allowed to have on the premises for everyone’s safety. Check with your residence hall policy to see if there is anything you will need to leave without.
  • Figure Out What You’re Going To Eat – Determine if your school requires a meal plan for freshman students. You will need to decide if you are going to sign up for a meal plan, which meal plan you are going to choose or if you will decline the meal plan.
  • Determine Safety Resources – Find out if your school campus has police officers or a security department. Save the phone number and see if there are any safety apps or alerts available. Find out what other safety features your campus has, such as blue lights and volunteer services for those walking alone at night.
  • Make Sure You Have All Your Residence Hall Supplies – There are so many different things that you need to remember for your Residence Hall, that it can be hard to keep track. Check out some different lists and storefronts to make sure you aren’t forgetting something crucial.

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