Dear Charley

Ten Tips for Going Off to College

Aug 17, 2019

Dear Charley,
If you could glance into your own future, how would you want to plan to start up (or back) to college for what seems like it must be a hectic process?

Me, myself and I

Dear Me, myself and I (a.k.a., Charley!),
Since you can’t possibly time travel to your own near future (and is this really true?) lest you set off some kind of weird paradox in your present due to knowing the future, here’s my advice as I prepare to go back myself.

  1. Pack light - it’s a real pain to drag back all your stuff. You should have a general idea of what you need and if anything arises, there’s always mail or drug and convenience stores nearby
  2. Get your books in advance - you won’t be the person scrambling to find and purchase your textbooks the day before classes start. Do some shopping around for the best price and place orders in advance so getting your books will be stress free and you can focus on yourself
  3. Map out your schedule - have classes all over the place? No fear because you’re here! Get a map print out or digital version and mark up where your classes are located so you know where to be and how much time you can spend getting places
  4. If you haven’t already, invest in a good water bottle. No matter what year you are, water bottles are a lifesaver! I walk everywhere and anywhere at my college and I get dehydrated easily. It will change your life and stick on all those free stickers you get just for being a college student.
  5. Get your storage stuff sent to your apartment/dorm. If your stuff is already waiting for you when you arrive, you’ll save time, and you don’t need to worry about traffic, parking and hauling/lugging your stuff there. Bonus: you get more time to unpack and unwind.
  6. Book your flights way in advance (if you’re flying there). This time around, you’ll know exactly your time frame for getting ready for school and you won’t need to arrive as early (unless you’re helping with orientation or have some other before school responsibility). You’ll save money and stress. Helpful hint - buy your tickets on a Tuesday—that’s when they’re the cheapest! (At least at time of this writing!)
  7. Review your school year finances/make a budget. Now that you’ve got one year behind you, you have the knowledge of how much you spend on three f’s; food, fun, and fees. Making a semester or yearly budget will keep you in check and you’ll always know what’s on your card. You won’t get into the awkward situation of your card declined at the most inopportune times. Trust me, I’ve been there.
  8. Update Your resume. If you spent time over the summer taking classes, working, traveling, volunteering etc. you’ll probably want to make sure that’s accounted for and that you’re ready for every possible job fair.
  9. Set up a time with your advisor or a trusted faculty member. Before things get hectic, make time to check in with someone who can help you figure out a course pf planning for the year ahead, or just to catch up. You’ll feel better and prepared for what comes next. A little guidance goes a long way!
  10. Do an activity/club overhaul. This is the time to get out of those email chains that flood your inbox. At this point, you know what clubs, sororities or fraternities and volunteer opportunities you actually enjoy and want to be involved in. It’s time to cut the cord with so-so activities and clubs that leave you less than excited.

Your College Counsel,