During the summer before your freshman year of college, it’s imperative to get many tasks accomplished so that you’re prepared for the year ahead. From getting paperwork completed to starting to get your dorm room essentials together, there's a lot to do within the next month in order to ensure you're prepared for your big transition to college. Unfortunately, the college experience at public universities and community colleges will be at lot different this fall. Preparing yourself for this will make it easier for you come move-in day. A CNBC article predicts the freshman experience will be anything but normal. Adding, "The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is recommending a number of safety measures for colleges, which include closing shared spaces like dining halls, game rooms, gyms and lounges if possible and the use of cloth face masks around campus." Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here. In order to ensure you’re on the right track, here’s a checklist of the top ten items incoming freshmen should be focused on during the month of July:
Keep Saving Money
Continue saving money that you earn from your summer job – the more savings you have, the better off you’ll be while you’re in school. Many college students use the money they earn to help them pay for college.
Bridge Any College Financial Gaps
Summer is a time some college students realize they don't have enough funds to help them pay for school. This year, thanks to the Coronavirus, this concern is even more real for many U.S. families. Don't worry. There are ways you can fill the money gap you may be faced with, and applying for private student loans is not the only option!
It's better to address this financial concern early in the summer than the start of your busy college semester.
Send thank you notes to everyone who helped you plan and prepare for college, including any teachers who wrote letters of recommendation for you as well as those who gave you gifts for your high school graduation (if you haven’t already).
Gather Your Personal Records
Make copies of your important forms including financial aid, medical, etc. for your personal records. Consider leaving copies at home with your parents, too, just for safekeeping.
Register for Freshmen Orientation
Register for the fall semester and for an orientation session. You may register for fall during the orientation, depending on the school. Connect with your college admissions team to find out if the orientation will be different this fall. Many colleges and universities are going to a virtual orientation experience to keep students safe.
Fill Out Additional Forms
Check to see if you need to fill any forms out before orientation, like housing, meal plans, etc. You'll want to email these documents to the admissions office, rather than mailing or delivering them in person, if possible.
Confirm Transcripts Have Been Sent
Ensure your final high school transcripts have been forwarded to your college. If your college doesn't have these forms on hand, email your high school guidance counselor to ask for help.
Talk to Your Roomie
Coordinate with your future roommate on which shared items each of you will be bringing to the dorm room. This year it's possible you will not have roommate, but rather a floor mate. Connect with your housing office to see what the set up will be this fall. Ask if they have a way you can connect with those you'll be on the same floor with.
Prep for Your Dorm Room
Begin shopping for any dorm room items you’re responsible for bringing. Our dorm room packing list includes Coronavirus essentials you'll need this fall.
Explore Potential Majors
Contact professionals who you would like to job shadow – it may help you decide on potential career options and, as a result, explore potential majors. Your first academic year is a great time to begin building professional relationships.
Figure Out Laundry
Learn how to do laundry. It’s a skill you’re going to need, and practice makes perfect! The Spruce offers a 10-step guide to help you conquer this must-know life skill.