For a great number of people, entering college is the first time that they are away from their parents, friends, and home town. Even if you are staying in the state where you were born, most people don’t grow up in the city where their college is located. Starting college is an adventure that involves a lot of planning and new experiences. Some of these experiences, like meeting new people and figuring out how to cook, are fun. But you may not be too keen to leave your room for a dorm, or figure out how to balance your own budget. Luckily, this guide will give you some pointers that can give you a heads up for when you leave home for the first time. From organizing your stuff to opening a free checking account, these are the basics that will serve you well through the next few decades of your life.
Organize Your Belongings
When you go off to college, chances are your parents will turn your bedroom into a gym or an office, and all your childhood stuff will be displaced. Lots of parents are good about organizing their children’s things after they leave for college, but if you want to ensure that you don’t have to root around in the basement to find your favorite teddy bear or high school jersey, you should organize before you leave. You can make some extra cash for college by collecting what you don’t want and having a yard sale. You can also sell unwanted possessions online.
Invest in some sturdy totes or other containers that will block moisture and dirt. You can put the items you’re leaving at home in cardboard boxes, but if you are putting them in a basement, attic, or crawlspace, there is a chance that rodents or insects will chew through and get to your stuff. You can also use a tarp to add another layer of protection in case of flooding.
Pick Out New Bedding
Most dorm rooms have oddly-shaped beds and mattresses. Nobody knows what the logic is for this, except that the extra-long beds will accommodate most athletes and the mattresses’ skinny width discourages sharing sleeping space with boyfriends and girlfriends. Whether morally- or practically-motivated, dorm beds are shaped weirdly. You will need to get new, special bedding that will match these proportions. Make sure to call ahead and get the precise measurements so that you can select bedding that will fit on the mattress.
Look for Good Deals on Books
If you know what classes you’ll be taking, you should start looking for books early. The decent used books begin to sell out long before the start of the semester. Make sure to get the right edition, as college text books frequently change and are updated. If you have contact with other people who took classes in your major, make sure to contact them to see if they have any used books they are willing to sell.
Open a Checking Account and Build Credit
One of the exciting parts of entering college is that you will be running your own life. Unfortunately, for most people that means managing your own budget and coming up with your own funds for tuition or a good night out. In order to manage your money more effectively. A checking and credit card account will help you develop financial responsibility and a credit history. If you are planning on buying a car or house in the future, having good credit is essential. With your own checking account, you can keep track of your college expenses and get a better idea of how to budget effectively.