Everyone knows the struggle of getting ready to start school. Whether you're going back to college, or you're just starting out, this list is for you. When it's time for you to get everything together, it can be super stressful, I would know. I started my first year of college last year ready to leave my tiny town for one that was slightly bigger, but at the same time, even with all the planning, I was SO stressed out by the time it was time to go. My room was a mess, I was a mess, and I had so much to do in the first few days. Some of these things aren't really something that you would remember to keep on your radar, but bear in mind, they were important to me, and are still. Here's 13 last minute things to do before you head off to school.
1. Clean up your room at home
This may seem a little unnecessary, especially if you live at home, but after a long day walking campus, or on your first trip home, you'll want you bed to be ready for you. You'll miss your bed, your pillows, your own space. I love my roommate to pieces, but my room at home makes me so happy when I come home. Side note: keeping it clean means knowing where things are, which also means you'll know where to grab your winter clothes from or where you put that novel.
2. Do something fun... but not with your family
This time around, I chose to go on a mini-vacation with a friend. We drove to Cincinnati (four hours from home) and went camping and to a concert. While this outing was mostly for him, we still had fun, and when we got home we did things for me, like an outing to my favorite restaurant, and a movie that I've been dying to see.
3. Check your financial aid status
No... really. I got home from vacation with a $5,000+ bill from the school because I hadn't accepted my financial aid yet. Make sure you take care of this ASAP. Also, any questions you have need to go straight to your adviser or financial aid office. They will be busy, and you can make time to wait around on the phone.
4. Plan something fun for you and your family
This could be a super simple game night, or movie night, or trying out a new restaurant. I'm lucky because my birthday is a few days after I leave. My "something fun" will be my birthday dinner. I get to pick my favorite meal, and I will get to have cake. While I hate my birthday, I know that this will be my last big chance to hang out with my family before I leave.
5. Have your favorite meal
Even if your school has really really really good food, make sure that you have your favorite meal from home before you leave. I was asked what I wanted before I left, I have chosen Cajun Alfredo, pot roast with potatoes and carrots, and paprika chicken. If your parents aren't the cooking kind, ask your grandparents, or go out somewhere. Make the most of this last meal.
6. Ask for one more thing before you go
Maybe you're the type of person to not ask for anything, and maybe you're not. It can be something small, like a pack of your favorite candy, a new travel water bottle, or a family photo. Or you can ask them to do something crazy and get a new phone or a pair of boots you want more than anything you've wanted for a while (HINT HINT).
7. Cuddle with your pets... or your friends' pets...
One of my friends has a cat that I absolutely adore, and I have a dog here at home. Since I have spent nearly the entirety of the summer with my dog, leaving her will be difficult for me; it always is. Being able to devote time to spending some serious cuddle time with her is just what I'll need before I leave.
8. Don't wake up for your alarm
Once, just once, sleep in for a few extra minutes. Once classes begin, you won't be able to do this all the time, so make sure that you catch some extra ZZZZZs in your bed at home before you head off to greet your dorm bed and busy class schedule.
9. Make sure you know what is in which box
Packing for dorm life isn't always as simple as throwing things in a box. I labeled my boxes last year, and was unpacked completely the day I moved in. It's really easy to move things into your dorm in printer paper boxes because they have handles. Also, you can fit so much into them that it's ridiculous.
10. Make a list of snacks to buy for your dorm room
Cram sessions, awkward panic attacks that make you eat, and just being hungry mean you really need snacks. There's no end to this list, as you'll likely be replenishing it often and maybe you'll get some care packages from Mom & Dad. Pretzels, chips, crackers, Oreos, and graham crackers are great to have on hand. You can also slip a cup of applesauce into your bag for whenever.
11. Get any last minute questions answered
What can you bring? What laptop is recommended? Can you buy a discounted version of Microsoft Word from the school? These are common questions asked by both students and parents at my school. There may be regulations on microwaves and mini-fridges, so be sure to check before making big purchases.
12. Join your school's social media accounts
VU has a Parent's and Family account on Facebook, a regular page on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, and their newspaper has an Instagram account. Make sure to follow the pages you can to get your questions answered and keep yourself connected through the school year.
13. Get to know your roommate
This is so SO necessary. You are stuck with this person if you're living on campus, so make sure that you get to know them well before you move in. Make sure that you know who is bringing what so you don't end up with two TVs, mini-fridges, or microwaves.