5 Unsentimental Things to Do Before Leaving for College

flagAt some point before you graduate high school, you will inevitably run into–whether on Facebook Chat or at the farmer’s market–an older friend who’s home from college.  That person will congratulate you on graduating, get you excited for college, and then proceed to give you a list of things you just have to do before heading off to college.

That list might include making a scrapbook of you and your BFF’s, ditching a class for “Senior Ditch Day” or scribing your initials into a bathroom stall to leave your “legacy”–whatever you need to do to feel emotionally prepared to leave your home and friends for a new place.

But there are also some things you’ll need to do logistically before you head off to college:

1. Clean your room
Not only will your parents appreciate the effort, but after 18 years of stuffing teddy bears and gifts from your grandma under your bed, you might find something you could actually use in your college dorm room–maybe it’s a poster, a blanket or a pair of slippers.  Whatever you wind up discovering in the ether of your walk-in closet or bottomless drawer, sorting through your inventory can keep you from buying things you already have and save you some money.

2. Cook a meal in the microwave
A time will come in your college life when you will discover that for any number of reasons–strange hours, cold weather, etc–the trek to the cafeteria or a local restaurant is not worth your time. In that case, to stave off your hunger, you’ll have to compose something in your dorm room with nothing but a microwave. There are plenty of microwavable meals out there, but you can get creative too. Teach yourself some microwave lessons before you head off. Here’s one for a pizza bagel, and here’s one for Rice Krispy treats.

3. Save/transfer files on you computer
Many students use different computers when they head off to college. Sometimes they get brand new ones, other times they use their school’s state-of-the-art computer labs. Either way, you might have some files–like pictures, papers, music, etc.–you want to keep with you in college. Make sure to either transfer those files to your new computer, a hard drive, flash drive or even email certain things you might want–like that picture of your dog in a Halloween costume.

4. Get a check-up
College means freedom! It also means your mom’s not going to be there to bring you chicken noodle soup the minute your temperature climbs to 99 degrees. So, just to play it safe, get a check-up before you head off to school. Make sure you’re healthy and/or that you have the prescriptions you’ll need for college. You’d be surprised how many college-bound high school seniors don’t even know how to unscrew the lid to get a Flinstones vitamin, so make sure you’re healthy and ready to take care of yourself in the fall.

5.  Practice living on a budget
The most popular game in college is going as close to $0 in your bank account without overdrawing. All the kids are playing it! If this game doesn’t sound that fun to you, draw out of budget plan for yourself before you head off to college. Practice using it and sticking to course. The more rehearsal you have with the budget, the less you’ll feel like a fish out of water when you actually implement it your first semester.

Do you have any other tips? Comment and share your thoughts!

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