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Matt Herndon
Noodle Expert Member

December 18, 2019

Going back to college often means moving to a new dorm. If you prepare in advance, you can turn this space into a home.

Summer is coming to an end, and soon it will be time to pack up the car and head back to campus. Are you ready? Preparing for the new school year is complicated enough for grade school students and high schoolers, but for college students it often involves a move into a dorm room or apartment as well as all the concerns involved with taking on a new schedule of classes. And if you're like many college students, planning for back to school may not happen until a few days--or maybe even a few hours--before you leave, but you can save yourself (and your mom) some stress if you do a little prep beforehand.

Go Shopping

Do you have everything you need for school? Are there any specific supplies for your coming classes that you might need, such as a specific calculator or any lab supplies? Come late August and early September, many stores have been picked dry in the school supplies department. Doing your shopping a little earlier can help you avoid a last-minute rush for supplies, which may or may not be in stock.

This is also an excellent time to start shopping for books. Buying used books online can help you save significantly on your beginning-of-the-year expenses. If you can get a list of the ISBNs for the books you'll need, you can find them online for a fraction of what you'd pay in the campus bookstore.

Get Registered

If you're not registered for your classes already, take the time to do so now if it's an option. The sooner you register, the better your chances of getting the hours and teachers you want. As you register, look into any online learning options that might present a good option for you. With so many people earning a degree online today, you can easily take a class or two through an online venue and carve out some time in your schedule for other pursuits.

Pick up a Calendar

Whether it's a paper version or an app for your iPhone, consider investing in a decent calendar or scheduling program before you head back to college. You already know how busy you're going to be once school starts. It's difficult to keep track of all of the responsibilities, classes and assignments. A quality calendar to help you track all these commitments is a great investment.

Finalize Summer Coursework

Many college students choose to take some classes in the summer months to help them finish their degrees more quickly. If you took an online class from another school or a traditional class at your local community college, call your school to find out what you need to do to get that coursework transferred over. If you aren't finished with your work for the summer courses, finish it now before you get too busy preparing for your return to school.

Find Employment

If you don't yet have a job at school, start calling potential employers now. The competition for the available jobs will be quite intense once all the students are back on campus. If you can land a position now, you'll be in far better financial shape once classes reconvene.

Summer may be a time to relax and unwind after a busy school year, but waiting until the last minute to get ready to go back to school is almost always an unwise move. Start planning early and your transition from summer relaxation to the demands of the school year can be quite smooth.