My son is counting down the days until he arrives back at college. He’s got 23 days to go.
Ben will be a sophomore so getting ready for college isn’t going to be as big a deal as it was last year. He was lucky that his school — Beloit College — provides storage for students so he left most of his stuff back in Wisconsin.
I took Ben, who grew at least a couple of inches during his freshmen year, clothes shopping over the weekend to replace clothes he outgrew or wrecked. He’s an artist who works with paint, which helps explain why he trashes his clothes. I also figured Ben could use more clothes after he told me that he only did his laundry about five times during his entire freshmen year. He seemed proud of this fact!
I was reminded of my 18-year-old’s aversion to laundry when I saw a to-do list for college-bound freshmen that was put together by Her Campus, which is a website for college women. One of the items on the list for teenagers was learning how to do laundry before arriving at the dorm.
A To-Do List for College Freshmen
Here are 6 other things students should do before they head off to college. Some are from Her Campus and other suggestions are from me.
1. Memorize your Social Security number.
You’re going to need this number when signing paperwork at school and mom won’t be there to tell you what it is.
2. Open a bank account.
If you don’t possess one already, having an account with a debit card is essential. My son’s college account with Wells Fargo is linked to the accounts that my husband and I have so it’s easy to transfer money if necessary. A teenager will have to decide if he wants an account with at bank near his college or one back home.
3. Check your health coverage.
Many schools offer supplemental health care coverage, which can be great for some families. You need to contact your own health insurer to know if it’s necessary. I can tell you from personal experience that this one is a pain in the neck, but it’s necessary.
4. Make doctor and dentist appointments.
Before heading out to college, make sure you get checked out. Better to get all this done in the summer than juggling it at Christmas or spring break, which is what my son had to do when his wisdom teeth started bothering him.
5. Focus on logistics.
How are you going to get everything to school? Will it fit in the car or will you need to buy some things when you arrive. The logistics are even more daunting for those of us whose children must fly to reach their schools.
One service that I used last year was Bed, Bath & Beyond that allows families to order dorm room supplies at their local store and have it waiting at the store closest to the college. Once we got to Ben’s college, we also used the local Target, which is cheaper unless you have Bed, Bath & Beyond coupons.
6. Check for deals.
When outfitting a dorm, there is no reason to pay full price. Look for coupons. Finding stuff on Craigslist, such as bikes and microwaves, is an even cheaper alternative.