Back to School Checklist

As a kid, “Back to School” was a cringe-worthy, shudder-inducing time of year. It meant less time to play outside, the end of trips to the swimming pool, and back to tests and homework. Once you reach college, however, “Back to School” becomes an exciting start to a new chapter! There are new professors to learn from, new floor mates to hang out with, and tons of new activities going on on campus.  Be prepared for everything that comes your way with our handy Back to School Checklist! From ordering your books to planning out your dorm set-up, there is a lot to get done before classes start. However, it doesn’t have to be stressful! Plan ahead and you’ll have nothing left to do except be excited. Let’s get started with Step 1…

1. Order Your Books – This goes without saying. However, how your order your books can be important. Browse your bookstore website to find out which textbook options fit your needs. Looking to shop on a budget? Save big by renting used textbooks (yes, you can write & highlight in them!). Thinking of going digital? Check for eTextbook options.

Have everything all set before you even set foot on campus. Choose to order online and pick up on campus – the bookstore staff will have everything put together for you when you arrive! Now that is convenient.

2. Map Out Your Schedule – Few things feel more awkward than showing up to class on your first day…late. Save the grand entrance for another time and map out your schedule beforehand. After all, you want a good seat don’t you?

3. Get Your Finances in Order – No, we’re not saying you have to start investing heavily in the stock market or start researching mortgage rates. Simply find a way to manage your own budget in a way that works for you.

We are big fans of the app GoBank (And also, just so you know, GoBank is a business partner of Barnes & Noble College!). You check your balance without logging in, pay your cable bill or rent, send and receive money to and from friends and family all from your cell phone. It makes managing your money easier than ever. Members are free to choose what they want to pay for their monthly membership fee, anywhere from $0-$9. They’ll receive the same features, no matter what.

So maybe planning out every inch of your new dorm is a bit excessive, but it helps to plan out the general set-up of your room before you get to campus. Check your school’s website for dimensions or room layouts. If your room looks small or oddly shaped, it might be worth it to leave some of your extra stuff at home.

Check your bookstore website for their dorm collection! There you’ll find tons of supplies, electronics, and accessories all perfect for sprucing up a barren dormitory.

Reach out to your roommate and coordinate who will bring what. One of you might already have something, so there is no need for the other to go out and buy it. Work together to make your shared space as enjoyable as possible.

Two years ago we posted an article about how important it is to protect all of the technology you’re toting around. Laptops, cell phones, tablets…these items cost a lot of money and it’s important to treat them properly. Sites like Society 6 offer tons of awesome cases and skins, so pro-tech-t your tech in style!

One of our favorite new tech accessories comes from Guerilla. Add a fun case to your calculator in a variety of exciting colors (pick one up at your campus bookstore!).

We’re all guilty of the same packing method. You know – throw everything into a suitcase and hope you can squish it until it fits. Packing this way, however, often leads to extra items you don’t need and the inevitable face-palm upon realizing all of things you do need…but forgot. Beyond that, the disorganization leads to a seemingly endless unpacking session with half of your time spent searching through the bottomless pile.

When it comes to your clothes, pack like-items together (ex – jeans, tees, socks) and put heavier items (like shoes or coats) toward the bottom of your suitcase. Try rolling your shirts tightly together in order to fit as many as possible.

You also might consider grouping everything you need into categories – bedding, desk & school supplies, decorations, etc. That way you can unpack swiftly and correctly…and spend more time catching up with friends.

Really! It’s not a bad idea to think about the big picture. Is there anything specific you want to accomplish this semester? It could be academic – getting an A in Organic Chemistry. Or maybe you were thinking on a more personal level – expanding your group of friends. Whatever your goals may be, make sure they reflect what you want to get out of the new semester. Figure out how you can work towards your goals each day.

Looking for even more tips? Check out our Back to School Survival Guide!

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