7 Things to Do Before College That You Might Not Think About

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The semester is quickly approaching, and you're probably swamped with packing all your things, working those last shifts, visiting all your friends and family, and planning your semester out. There are so many lists out there telling you what to do before leaving - such as spending time with friends, connecting with your roommate, and buying your textbooks, but we wanted to give you insight into some of the other things you should do that might not be on your radar.

1. Ask Your Parents For Some Life Skills

The biggest issue many young adults run into is not knowing how to do a lot of the things that just come with life. Whether it’s filing your taxes, how to iron a shirt, or how to meal prep, sometimes these things can be hard if you have never done them before. Sit down with your parents, an older sibling, or whoever you feel can teach you some valuable lessons. Things like sewing buttons back on clothes, jumping a car, how to give a proper handshake, and how to check your credit score, are small things you don’t think about but are highly valuable in the long run.

2. Clean Up and Clear Out

You’ve heard it a million times: don’t try and take your entire closest with you. You’re not going to wear it all, and there isn’t enough space for everything anyways. Before leaving for school, clean out your closest and your room. De-clutter and try putting some of your stuff in storage or donating what you know you don’t need. This goes for your electronics too. You’re going to be using your laptop almost every day in class, so you might want to invest in a hard drive and start moving all your high school files over to it. Transfer your photos from your phone to it also, giving yourself lots of space for all the new memories you’re going to make!

3. Download Some Apps

If you don’t have an Uber or Lyft app, download it now. RIT has an incredible shuttle service to places around and near campus, but sometimes you run into issues and you need a ride quick. Vemno is also an app that’s becoming more and more useful in everyday life. You can easily pay friends back, donate to different clubs on campus, or maybe even get your parents to transfer some money to you when you’re in a pinch. On the money note, if your bank has an app (which most do), we highly suggest downloading it. You can manage your debit cards, cash in your paychecks, and transfer money between accounts right through the app! If your bank is nowhere near campus or even in this state, this will be a lifesaver.

4. Do a Little Maintenance

Who knows the next time you’ll be home and able to get an appointment with your hairdresser/barber? Get your haircut right before you go and start looking into a temporary replacement around the Rochester area that you’re going to like. There is one right on campus if you need it! Along with some personal maintenance, now’s a good time to service your car. Get your oil checked and changed if needed. Make sure everything is working properly and no lights are flashing on your dashboard. Check on that spare tire and be sure it will work if you need to change it. Most importantly, make sure your windshield wipers are in tip-top shape. You don’t want to be driving through Rochester’s rain and snow without them!

5. Make a Few (More) Investments

We know...more money to spend...but trust us, these investments are worth it. If you don’t already have a passport and/or passport card, now’s a good time to get one. Toronto is only about three hours away from Rochester, and you and your friends could make a day or even a weekend trip there. If you are even remotely interested in studying abroad, you don’t want a delayed passport to be the thing that stops you from going. Head over to your local DMV or post office, grab the application, and get one! Don’t worry, even if you sign up for one now they can mail it to your Rochester address.

If you don’t have a bike, you might want to start looking into one. Rochester is a bike-friendly town with lots of trails to take you into and around the city. Plus, biking to and from class can save you a lot of time spent walking! Another crucial thing to start saving up some money for is business attire - business students aren’t the only ones who wear it! Many professors require students to present in business attire and you’ll want to look your best when the Career Fair rolls around. And really, it never hurts to own some dress pants.

6. Brand Yourself

Besides clearing out your social media (even though you’re private...people can still find you), it’s time to start creating your career-orientated online presence. If you don’t have a LinkedIn, start building it. A good place to begin is to create a resume and then work from there. As your time in college continues, you’ll have much more to add and learn about what should and shouldn’t go on it. For our art students, now’s a good time to start building different social media accounts dedicated to your work (if you haven’t already). This way you can show off all your photos, paintings, drawings, etc. on one platform without having to steer people away from your selfies and sappy happy birthday posts.

7. Make Plans

Yeah, yeah, we all plan to keep in touch with our families, friends, old co-workers, but sometimes we get busy and forget we haven’t talked to each other in a couple of days...or weeks...or even months. It may be hard to keep everyone up-to-date on things happening in your life, but they want to know! Luckily we have group chats and instant messaging, which makes staying in touch a lot easier. However, try to schedule out some time each week to call your parents and FaceTime friends from home (you can group FaceTime now)!

Make sure to talk to your parents about expectations when you come home. If you’re losing your room to a younger sibling, discuss where you’ll sleep and put all your stuff during breaks. You’re going to be going from having no rules and living on your time to coming back home to house rules, expectations, and other people’s schedules. Work out a plan for how to handle the winter and summer breaks. Keep in touch with any employers, so you can possibly work on any breaks you do spend home. Don’t just up and leave with no idea what you’re going to do when coming back home.

At the end of the day, you're going to be fine. College might seem stressful and overwhelming at first, but once you get into the groove of things you'll manage. Just remember to have fun!

Tagged: campus life, incoming students, student llife, tiger tips