College Life Check List

So you're off to freshman orientation - armed with a map of the college campus, your schedule for the semester, and the number of your dorm room. It's a great start for seeking undergraduate degrees, but it's far from all you'll need for your trip to your new home and your semester-long stay in the dorms. Cross all of these items off your list before you depart to ensure your first semester will go smoothly.

Car Concerns

  • Have your car inspected by a licensed mechanic to make sure it is safe to drive.
  • Double-check your spare tire.
  • Do you know how to change a tire and your car oil? If not, learn how. Practice doing these things so you'll be able to do them in the future if necessary.
  • Make sure you have proof of insurance and a current photo ID with you whenever you get behind the wheel.
  • Keep an emergency roadside kit in your trunk for unexpected events.
  • Consider purchasing a gas card to use when you're short on cash.

Stay Healthy

  • Visit the dentist for a check-up and cleaning before you leave. Have any dental work completed before the first semester begins.
  • Call your doctor to schedule a physical if it is required by your school.
  • Get a copy of your shot record.
  • Pack non-prescription medications. Get a refill on any prescription medications if you are running low.
  • Buy a basic first-aid kit for your dorm room.
  • Familiarize yourself with the medical insurance coverage offered by your school.

Dorm Room Essentials

  • Pillows
  • Sheets and blankets
  • Towels, large and small
  • Floor rug
  • Soap, shampoo, shaving cream, lotion, toothpaste, and other toiletries
  • A small fridge for snacks, if they are permitted in the dorm
  • Microwave
  • Plates and cutlery
  • Desk lamp
  • Garbage can and bags
  • Posters, pictures, and other decorations
  • Alarm clock
  • Radio or CD player
  • CDs
  • Computer and printer
  • Storage bins
  • Plastic food-storage containers
  • Cell phone or room phone
  • Favorite books
  • Small safe or other secure container
  • Secret compartment to store keys
  • Copy of dorm policies and rules
  • Rubber boots, raincoat, and an umbrella for rainy days

Recreation Must-Haves

  • Ice cooler
  • Maps to help you find area attractions
  • Camera
  • Equipment for your sport of choice
  • Several hundred dollars in small bills, an emergency credit card, and a debit card

Tools for Academic Success

  • Class schedule and map of the campus
  • Pens, highlighters, pencils, paper, binders, and other required school supplies
  • Comfortable and strong backpack
  • Cart on wheels, to make transporting books easier
  • Academic books from high school
  • Any term papers from high school you could use as a foundation for college papers
  • Wristwatch

Last Updated: 04/24/2014

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