A College Student’s Summer Checklist for the Class of 2017
by Hannah Welles
Congratulations, Seniors! You’re graduating, and there is a whole new world waiting for you after high school. Now is the time to celebrate your many accomplishments and relax before starting college and becoming a freshman again. The summer before college can be one of the most exciting yet nerve-wracking times of your life, so here are some tips to make getting there a bit easier.
You are probably experiencing a plethora of emotions related to leaving your home, family, and friends behind for a new school, but always remember that everyone else is going through the same thing. All the uncertainties that you are facing are sure to seem overwhelming at some point, but you can take comfort in knowing that everybody is just as nervous as you.
Set up a timeline for the summer.
Preparation is crucial in order to have a smooth transition to college, and if you know that you are going to be away for a large chunk of the summer and will be unable to shop, pack, or make arrangements in other ways, it can be extremely helpful to have a schedule set up for when you will be able to get those chores done. Use a wall calendar to visualize all of your activities throughout the summer and identify good periods of time to focus on packing or shopping when it won’t add too much stress to your schedule.
Organization on the front end of the transition can help alleviate any headache and confusion approaching the move-in date, a time you’ll want to spend with family and friends, not scrambling to get ready. Make a list of items that you want to bring with you, and include everything—school supplies, decorations, furniture, even toiletries. (I recommend also bringing a sturdy water bottle, cleaning wipes, hand sanitizer, and a bedbug mattress protector.) Then, do a thorough search of your house and figure out what items you can bring that you already have so that you don’t waste money buying duplicates. Once you’ve determined what you need to buy, make lists of those things by category. Be as specific as you can so that someone can do some shopping without you if necessary. Once something is accounted for, make sure to mark it on the list to save yourself time later on. It may also be helpful to put the list into a set of reminders or a note on your phone so that you don’t have to worry about losing it.
Do some packing early for things that you know you won’t need until you move in. Designate an area of your room or your house to be the drop spot for all things college related. Make a folder or binder for all the correspondence that you receive from your college. It will all contain vital logistical information for the upcoming year, so make sure you read it! Start incorporating things that you know you will need for college into your regular shopping, so that you can put some aside and lighten the burden on both your wallet and your patience down the road.
Do some research.
Find out what items are and are not allowed in your dorm; some schools have very specific requirements, so check before buying appliances, light bulbs, and furniture. Do some sleuthing to see when stores are having sales early on in the summer or closer to back to school time. For example, J.C. Penney is having a huge closing sale, and they have a lot that could be useful (I found my sheets and pillows there). Target can be a great one stop shop, and they have a huge number of coupons available to print on their website. If you have tons of Bed Bath and Beyond coupons taking up space in your house, now is the time to use them; the store even has a sheet that details what furniture and other things your college’s dorm rooms comes with! Look into some stores in Nyack to find decorative items that will help make your dorm room feel more like home. Also, be sure to ask family members and neighbors if they have any of the items on your list.
Hannah Welles is a rising sophomore at Barnard College