8 Tasks to Cross Off Your To-Do List Before Your College Classes Begin Marketing and Communications | October 3, 2023 What do you do before college starts? There’s a lot to remember in those final days leading up to the first day of classes. Make sure you check all the important tasks off your list before the big event. Otherwise, you could wind up missing a textbook or without essential items from home. Or worse, you might miss out on taking that class with your favorite instructor. Tasks to Cross Off Your To-Do List Before College Classes Begin What is the best way to prepare for college classes? Get organized. A to-do list will help you get ahead of the chaos. Here’s what we recommend doing before you ever enter those hallowed halls of learning: 1. Access Your School Email It sounds deceptively simple, but figuring out how to access your school email account is sometimes more complicated than expected. Somewhere in the acceptance material the admissions office sends you, you’ll find this information. It’s important to set everything up, get logged in, and change your password before classes begin because your college or university will use this email to send you important updates and reminders throughout the semester. And if you need to communicate long distances with your instructor, the school email account may be the only one that gets through. Mail originating from Gmail, Outlook, or other servers may be blocked on the school’s network to prevent the unintentional spread of malicious links. 2. Register for Classes You’ve applied for admission and been accepted. Now, it’s time to register for classes. Many schools offer a self-serve feature that lets you do this online from the comfort of your own home. However, it’s a good idea to meet with an advisor at the beginning. This is the professional who will guide you through the requirements for your degree and help you figure out which classes are available each semester. Typically, you can register for classes as soon as registration opens for that semester and pay the fees and tuition shortly thereafter. This gives you time to apply for financial aid, set up a payment plan, or gather the funds needed to enroll. Just make sure to pay close attention to your deadlines, both for registering and for taking care of the costs of tuition. An important sidenote: Don’t wait until the last minute to register. If you do, classes may fill up, and you could miss out on an important prerequisite class. This could interfere with your expected graduation date or make summer classes necessary. 3. Buy Textbooks Once you’ve registered, it’s time to hit the bookstore. Or, if you’re like many students nowadays, it’s time to find alternatives to your school’s bookstore. After you’ve registered for your individual classes, you’ll be able to retrieve your booklist. Often, it’s available online when you log into your college portal. You can purchase your books from the school store, but this is often a pricier option than sites like eBay or ThriftBooks. Sometimes, students rent books from retailers like Amazon, use them for a semester, and then send them back. You may also be able to find older editions of the book you need online for less or in a digital format. Check with your instructor before buying a different edition than the one required, and make sure the book you purchase comes with any original software. 4. Buy Basic School Supplies Possibly, it’s been some time since you’ve purchased school supplies, but you’ll need them for college. Many college students use laptops, tablets, or even mobile phones for recording lectures or note-keeping. But you’ll still need some type of messenger bag or backpack for toting it around campus. Buy some high-quality pens, a few pencils, some notebooks, and a few folders, just in case. And if it’s merch you desire, visit your school’s bookstore. You’ll usually find cool apparel such as hoodies or windbreakers bearing the school logo. Bumper stickers, jogging pants, and sweatshirts are nice, too – and they declare your school spirit. After all, nothing says “college preparedness” like a plushy of the school mascot. 5. Reach Out to Your New Roommate Will you be staying in a dorm? If so, the odds are good you’ll have a roommate. Ideally, you should get to know them, or at least try introducing yourself, before the semester begins. Often, this takes place during move-in day. Hopefully, you’ll hit it off from the start, and the two of you can enjoy arranging your furniture and decorating the walls together. If you’re footing the bill for an off-campus apartment, finding a roommate or two is a great solution to offset costs. Shared expenses are easier to handle, rather than trying to pay for everything by yourself. Plus, roommates are fun to have around. They can help stave off feelings of homesickness or loneliness during those important first semesters. They may have great study tips, too, especially if they’re taking a few of the same classes as you. 6. Figure Out Financial Aid and Pay Your Tuition Usually, you must pay your tuition or make some sort of payment arrangement with the financial aid office before moving onto campus. Many students take advantage of financial aid options, such as scholarships, grants, and loans. By filling out the FAFSA, or Free Application for Federal Student Aid, you can determine whether you qualify for financial assistance to help pay for college. You’ll want to be sure to hit your state, college, and federal deadlines for applying. You can find those on the FAFSA website. 7. Find Out Who Your Instructors Are for Classes As you register, you’ll be able to see the last names of the instructors for each class. Of course, if it’s your freshman year, these names may mean nothing to you. However, as you register each successive semester, you may begin to see the same names crop up for different classes. Pay attention to this, as it may help you land in a class that’s taught by one of your favorite teachers. Alternatively, it can help you avoid a second semester with an instructor you didn’t connect with. 8. Start Packing Are you ready to head off and settle into this exciting new phase? If so, it’s time to start packing. You’ll need bed and bath linens, your favorite clothing, all your school supplies, and a few of your favorite things from home to help you feel settled. Consider taking along the quilt your grandmother made or that cute bedroom rug you bought with your mom during your last shopping spree together. Some things you might need but may not consider include: Mattress topper Small vacuum sweeper Pillows Lightweight plates and bowls Laundry hamper or basket Shower caddy Underbed storage drawer Trash can If possible, talk to your roommate or other students in your dorm about must-have necessities you might otherwise forget. Earn your Degree, Today If you’re ready to apply for admission to a top-quality university, we invite you to consider Carson-Newman in Jefferson City, TN. Carson-Newman University offers 50 majors and 11 graduate degrees and is founded on strong Christian principles to provide a Christ-centered education for the more than 2,800 students who attend annually. Whether you’re interested in a career in STEM, education, nursing, worship leadership, or any one of a host of other quality degree programs, Carson-Newman University can help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to learn more.