Freshman Life 101: Tips to Remember Before Heading Away to College

Freshman Life 101: Tips to Remember Before Heading Away to College

Going off to college in a place you’ve only heard of is a rite of passage. For many young freshmen, this is the first time you’ll be leaving home on your own and experiencing the world without your parents close behind.

For many new college students, this can be a frightening experience. But, it doesn’t have to be. In fact, it can be both fun and rewarding as long as you plan your journey to college in advance.

Now, if you’re going to school just an hour away from home, this isn’t something you have to plan too far ahead for. But, for those planning to cross the country (or the ocean) to go to school, you’ll want to have all of your ducks in a row.

Here, we’ll discuss what you should plan for when heading off to college, and how to get there in a safe and timely manner.

Where Will You Live?

If you’re looking for the bonafide college freshman experience, you’re probably getting a dorm. Of course, you have other options such as single apartments on or off campus, but these aren’t always available or affordable for most beginning college students.

Once you’ve decided where you’ll be living, it’s time for a checklist. These are the things you’ll want to bring along with you no matter if you’re staying in a dorm or in your own apartment.

  • School supplies (paper, pencils, pens, notebooks, laptop, tablet, etc.)
  • Desk lamp
  • Alarm clock
  • Mini tool kit
  • Hangers and organizing bins
  • Lockbox (for important documents)
  • Foot locker or trunk (for larger valuables)
  • Laundry bag or basket
  • Pictures from home (yes, you’ll want these)

The above list only covers the basics of high performance in school, and you’ll most likely want to add to this list when you discover other things you might need or could use while away from home. Keep in mind that if you’re staying in a dorm, you’ll have some things provided for you such as a bed, desk, and storage locker. But, remember not all dorms are universal.

Getting to College

So, you’re one of the fortunate few who were given a car for a graduation present. If this is the case, congratulations! But, no matter if you’re driving to college in a brand new spit-shined ride or the old clunker you bought for 300 bucks off Craigslist, you still have to get there safely.

The first thing you’ll want to handle is to ensure that you have adequate insurance coverage. You’ll probably be driving back home a few times or more when you’re off at college, so you’ll want to make sure that you have some form of roadside assistance protection. This can include towing coverage, emergency assistance, and the like.

If you don’t know your coverage, you’ll want to speak with your insurance company. And, if you find that any coverage is lacking, shop around for comparable car insurance. The most important thing to remember is that you’ll need to protect yourself while traveling to and from home, and around campus.

Road Safety

Last but not least, get your car tuned up or serviced. The last thing you’ll want to have happen is a breakdown in the middle of the Mojave Desert while you’re on your way to Arizona State University.

Take your vehicle in for a full inspection before hitting the road. Here is a short checklist to get you started:

  • Brake pads and rotor check
  • Fluid check: radiator, brake fluid, power steering, motor oil, transmission, etc.
  • Windshield wiper check
  • Taillights, headlights, turn signals, and hazards
  • Tire tread and inflation
  • Emissions check (for states that require this inspection)

Once your car is in good driving condition, all you have left to do is pack up part of your life and move it on up to begin your career as a student in the world of higher education.


Going off to college is a rewarding experience. But, this is one that takes great discipline. It’s easy to get caught up in the party lifestyle and fall short on your studies. Remember, you’re making a four-year investment in your future, so get there safely, study hard, and try to have a little fun while you’re at it when the time is right.



Like and Share
Posted in: Local News
  • Archives:

  • Categories:

  • Tags: