A Last-Minute Checklist For The Start of the Semester
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8 Last-Minute To-Dos Before Classes Begin

This checklist is about to save your neck.

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8 Last-Minute To-Dos Before Classes Begin
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If you haven't started classes already, you're about to. Whether your school is a long way from home or close enough to commute to, this is a hectic time for everyone—you, your parents, the financial aid department…the list goes on. It's almost a guarantee that you will forget something important or the unexpected will occur when you arrive. Here are the things those online college packing lists won't include.

1. If you’re able, go to campus beforehand to locate your classes.

This is mainly for freshman and transfer students, but trust me on this. Orienting yourself before school begins will make for a less stressful first week. Even if this isn't your first year at the school you're attending, make sure you do more than glance at your schedule. If you want to add some fun, plan a trip with your friends. If the school is in an unfamiliar state or area, explore the local dives. You've probably already done this, being the responsible young adult you are, but if you don't have a feeling of the area you're going to be spending the majority of your life in you're allowing yourself to miss out.

2. If you don’t have a budget already, make. One. Now.

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Just because you have a job that makes money does not mean you can spend said money as much as you want and whenever you want. Those green stacks will disappear before your eyes if you aren't careful. If you don't learn to start acting like a responsible adult during these critical years of your education, there's a good chance you are setting yourself up for failure. Open up a nice old-fashioned Excel spreadsheet or turn to the aid of apps like Mint (my personal favorite), YNAB, Wally, or PocketGuard. Spend responsibly.

3. Study your schedule like it's a final.

Okay, so you're not going to be tested on it or anything, but know your schedule inside and out. Know your class times, breaks, and everything in between. Sure, you could just screenshot it on your phone, but having it tucked away in the back of your head is the safest place for it. If you leave the safeguarding of your schedule to a scrap of paper or a mobile device, what happens when you lose that piece of paper or device? Knowing where you have to be and when you have to be eliminates stress.

4. If you're living on campus, clean your room at home before you go.

Photo by Greta Schölderle Møller on Unsplash

I'm not your mom, but seriously. Your parents aren't going to clean your pigsty for you. In fact, they'll probably end up throwing your stuff away if it bothers them enough. Cleaning your room before you leave will make for a refreshing homecoming at the end of the semester or the start of a break. You'll thank yourself for it, I promise.

5. Plan a night out with your chums at home.

Who knows when you're going to see each other again? Everyone is going their separate directions, directions that could shift course and sweep them away at any moment. Plan a movie night, day trip, something that will get you guys together. You will cherish those moments and thank yourself for making time for them.

6. If you drive, make sure your machine is drivable.

Photo by Davids Kokainis on Unsplash

The last thing you want is for your transmission to give out or a tire to blow the first week of school or, God forbid, on the way there. If your car is due for inspection, make sure you take a trip to the dealership before leaving. Check the oil levels, mileage, and tire pressure. Especially if you know next to nothing about cars, having to call home to dad about car trouble is probably not how you envisioned the start of the semester. Be a responsible guardian of your vehicle.

7. Get your important documentation together.

If you forget a toothbrush or some insignificant toiletry, there's a 99.9% chance your school will sell it there. What you don't want to forget is your identification and insurance documents. Literally anything will happen when you're away at school, and you don't want to be caught unprepared. Sit down with your parents and go over what you're going to need. Bring copies of your social security card, birth certificate, car registration and insurance, passport, emergency contacts, and so on.

8. Look at your school's event calendar!

Photo by Estée Janssens on Unsplash

Check the event calendar of the college or university you're attending. Looking at your options and deciding what you want to do beforehand will prevent you from missing out on student life. Choose the clubs and organizations you want to get involved in because making the most of your four years isn't just about the books. It's the people you meet and connect with that are the key to making your college experience.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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