Top 10 Things A College Student Needs Before The First Day of Class

Remember the first day of kindergarten? How about the first day of your freshman year of high school?

As I’m sure you’ve already experienced at some point in your life, the first day we start something new and unfamiliar is stressful.

Unfortunately, the first day of class in college is no different.You will undoubtedly be a little tense leading up to the big first day. The best way to minimize this stress is to be prepared.

Below I’m going to give you the Top 10 Things a College Student Needs before the First Day of Class. If you follow my advice on this list, you will be able to survive that first day (and all the ones after that) without a problem.

Now get out your note pad and pen and let’s get started…

1. Class ScheduleYou absolutely must have your class schedule. How else will you be able to find your classes? Typically the building and room location of your classes can be found on your class schedule. If you happen to move-in on campus a few days early, spend some time walking around campus and take your class schedule with you. See if you can locate the buildings on your own. If you’ve done a “dress rehearsal,” ahead of time, then this will cut down the stress factor significantly.

2. Textbook & School Supplies You want to make sure that you have the correct textbook and your favorite school supplies (pens, pencils, folders, notebooks, etc.) If you happened to order your books online, check the campus bookstore to make sure you purchased the correct edition. Once you have all the proper textbooks and supplies, pack up everything in your back pack the night before just to make sure you have it all in one place and you don’t forget anything. If you have everything prepared and ready to go, all you have to do it grab the back pack on the way out the door. Simple, right?

3.  Back Pack Well I guess you can’t pack your back pack ahead of time if you don’t have one! Yes, you will need a back pack. I know there are all kinds of fashionable bags out there that students like to carry to class, but don’t be mistaken…college textbooks are HEAVY! Don’t break your back trying to use a purse as your back pack…It’s just not worth it. Spend the money to get a real back pack and you can determine later if it is feasible to carry your fashionable bag to the classes that maybe don’t require you to have such heavy textbooks.

4.  Alarm Clock Yes, you need an alarm clock. Mom and Dad aren’t there to yell at you when it’s time to wake up for school. It’s all on you buddy. If you fail to wake up in time, guess what?….you miss class! No one wants to miss class on the very first day. If you have an alarm on your cell phone then that’s acceptable as well. Just make sure you have something that will allow you to have peace of mind the night before the big day!

5.  Campus Map Do you know where everything is on campus? What if you want to get lunch in between classes, do you know where the closest cafeteria is? Campus maps can really come in handy during the first few days of class, until you get your surroundings straight. Campus maps become particularly useful if you didn’t move in early and haven’t had the chance to explore campus before the first day of class.

6.  Toiletries Make sure you have all of your personal toiletries. You don’t want to wake up on the first day of class and get out of the shower only to find out that you don’t have deodorant…GROSS! Take some time to take an inventory of your toiletries to make sure you have everything you need before the first day of class. Every college typically has a Wal-Mart or Target close by, so if you need to make a trip to the store before your first day of class, then that shouldn’t be a problem.

7.  Clothes I know this seems obvious, but don’t forget your clothes. College-bound students can get so wrapped up in what color comforter and dorm room decorations they have, they can sometimes forget about the essentials…clothes! Also, make sure you consider the surrounding climate. Maybe it’s appropriate for you to have a jacket with you or an umbrella. Just think, it’s the first day of class and it’s chilly outside, but you don’t have any long-sleeved shirts or a jacket, so you have to freeze all the way to class in your new outfit…bummer! Probably not exactly what you had planned. Just make sure you’ve considered all possible outcomes.

8.  Computer You will need a computer at college. You will have tons of papers to write, so you don’t want to be bothered with always having to go to the library all the time. A laptop computer would be ideal so that you can be mobile, but a desktop would work fine as well.

9.  Medication Do you take any medication regularly? If so, you want to make sure you have a decent supply of this prior to the first day of class. Picture this, you wake up the morning of your first day of class with an asthma attack but you can’t find your inhaler…oh crap! Even if you don’t take medication regularly, you should still make sure you have some standard cold and pain medication stashed in your dorm room. You may not wake up with an asthma attack, but what if you have a headache? Better safe than sorry.

10.  Money You never know what last-minute expenses may come up so you want to make sure that you have some cash on hand. What if you head to class and you find out that you need to buy the workbook associated with the textbook that can only be bought in the school’s bookstore for $50? Now what do you do? Just make sure you have an emergency fund available to you to handle miscellaneous, unanticipated expenses

Well, that should just about do it! If you have all these 10 things before the first day of class then you should be in pretty good shape. Congratulations, you’re officially a college student! Good Luck!

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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