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The Countdown: A College Freshman’s Guide to the 10 Weeks Before College

June 22, 2009 By: Category: Campus Life, College Tips

Many of you will be starting college in about ten weeks. These can be some of the most exciting and nerve-wracking times of your life. You’re probably wondering when you should start packing, whether or not you should contact your future roommate or wait for him or her to contact you first, and how many posters you need for your dorm room. Here’s a week by week guide for the ten week countdown. Follow this advice and it will make the mad rush before college a little easier.


Photo by lastyearsgirl

Week 10: It’s the end of June and even though you’re spending your days earning cash and hanging out with your high school friends, you probably have college on your mind. If this sounds like you, you’re in the right place. Take this week to go on a memorable adventure with your friends. Get a day off from work, pack up the car with a tent and some hotdogs and s’more fixings, and head to the mountains or the beach.

Week 9: You’re probably thinking “where has the month of June gone? I feel like I’ve just graduated.” At least that’s what I’m thinking, and I graduated from high school a year ago. Don’t wait until the end of the summer to clean out your room. Do your parents a favor and go through your old things. Sort your clothes, books, video games and old toys into three categories: things you want to take with you to college, things to leave at home, and things to get rid of.

Week 8: Remember that third pile you made last week? Of things you don’t want anymore? Make a little extra cash by holding a garage sale with a few of your friends. Donate the rest of what you don’t sell to Salvation Army or another second-hand store.

Week 7: It’s the middle of July and you’re going to be gone before you know it. Believe it or not, you’re going to miss your family when you’re at school. Surprise them by cooking them a nice meal. If the weather’s nice, hold a family barbecue or take them on a picnic.

Week 6: If you don’t already have a debit or credit card, this is a good time to get one as it may take several weeks to process your application. If you decide to get a credit card, make sure to carefully go over the fine print with your parents and discuss strategies for budgeting your money.

Week 5: If you haven’t already contacted your college roommate, you should do that this week. My roommates contacted me through Facebook, but introducing yourself in a friendly email might be a more classy way to go. It’s a good idea to discuss who’s bringing what before you both end up at college with two microwaves, two hot pots and two refrigerators (that is, if your college allows these items).

Week 4: Before you start shopping for things to bring to school, like the microwave and hot pot mentioned above, make sure to check with your school’s regulations to see what items are allowed in your dorm room.

Week 3: If you’re planning to purchase dorm gear before arriving at college, do it now before Target and Walmart have been picked through by all of the other college freshman.

Week 2: Don’t wait to start packing the night before you leave for college. Start now. Now is also a good time to make sure that you sent all your graduation thank you notes and that you’ve sufficiently hidden anything you don’t want your parents to find after you leave (love letters, diaries, report cards..).

Week 1: Relax. No, you don’t need to unpack all of your things a hundred times to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything. Now is the time to reflect on your high school career and what experiences you want out of college. Now is your last chance to truly be a kid.