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iStock_Off-to-College-Van-385x170-1370999808Summertime is finally here. Students can now take time to sleep in and chill out. They have worked hard over the past four years, and definitely deserve the downtime. But students will also be heading off to college in a few short months. Some students may be so excited that they want to prepare for the event months ahead of time. Other students may be somewhat intimidated at the thought of living away from home for the first time and unsure of what they can do to prepare before they set foot on campus. Still others may need some reminders about the practical matters that await them in the fall. For all those students, and everyone else, here are some things students will need to do in preparation for college in the fall…

Keep that brain working!
College involves lots of reading and work, so it is a good idea for students to keep their brains in shape over the summer. A great way to do this is reading for pleasure. It’s enjoyable and educational at the same time! Keeping up with current events by reading the newspaper is also a good way for students to keep themselves sharp over the summer.

Discuss financial matters.
Students and their parents should discuss expectations about finances. Will parents deposit money? How often? Will the student get a job?

If students do not know how to prepare a budget, now is the perfect time to learn! It’s a skill that will come in handy at school.

Students may want to set up a bank account at a bank that has branches both where their parents live and where their college is located.

Contact roommates.
Students should get in touch with their roommates to introduce themselves. They can also coordinate what stuff each person will bring to their shared room. For instance, one person might bring a microwave, while the other brings a mini-fridge.

Figure out what to take to school.
Students should spend some time figuring out what they want to take with them to college and what they want to leave at home. They should also plan to make some shopping trips to get items that they might not have already (extra-long sheets, anyone?).

Most colleges have lists on their websites or will send out mailings about what dorms provide, what students need to bring, and what items are not allowed in dorms. Check out the information that is college-specific before going shopping. There are plenty of shopping-for-college lists online to get ideas for what students might like to bring to college.

Check out classes for fall semester.
Students should take a look at the different classes available in the fall semester. Think about which classes look interesting and which classes meet major or general education requirements,

Keep reading information from college.
Colleges send out important information about housing, roommates, health insurance, freshman orientation, and more. Respond to information requests in a timely fashion.

Think about time management.
College involves juggling a lot of tasks at once, with lots of unstructured time. Students will have much to do, and will have to figure out for themselves when to do it. Perhaps for the first time, students will have to figure out how to divide their time between work, play and rest. It’s a good idea to think about scheduling and time management strategies over the summer before getting to college.

Spend time with your family and friends.
Finally, relax and enjoy the comforts of home! Before long, students will be entering a new phase in their lives. They should relax and enjoy time with their friends and family before heading off to college!

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