About twenty years ago students could carry everything they needed for the upcoming semester when going to college. A large backpack would probably contain all the books and other essentials that would be required. This article explains why this would probably not be possible today.
The most obvious reason is the amount of technical equipment most students need. Of course, pens and paper are still needed, but everyone knows they are not enough. Essential stuff for college now includes a notebook computer (with modem or wireless access obviously). In addition, a printer and a scanner are also needed by most students. Advanced cell phones such as the i-phone are helpful additions, but they are not an adequate substitute to these fundamental tools
The student will need books at the core of his studies, as well as online resources. Every year, the diligent student will probably find more and more relevant books. This growing library will have to be shelved and displayed, and perhaps transported from home to college every semester.
Going to college is not just about studying. Sports are a vital part of college life and the right clothing, footwear and equipment is always needed. Then some luxuries, treats and hobbles need to be provided for. The student market is not immune to the increased sophistication of society. The modern scholar will want his or her favorite toiletries, as well as quality foods and snacks.
All this is only about what the student needs for his or her physical and mental wellbeing when going to college. The dorm or hall of residence may provide an adequate level of furniture, but if a student wants stuff for the dorm that is more than basic this will probably have to be bought specially. No wonder purchasing all these college essentials needs extensive local shopping, active mail order and online research to get the best value.
Before you head off to your college orientation activities start with a strategy and get a lay-of-the-land.
Got a Clue About Your “U”?
Think big picture. Think Google Earth or Google Maps. Go get your GPS or go online and have a look where your campus is located. See the city? See your campus? Then zoom in closer and closer.
If need be go to your college website and check for the campus map there. Imagine yourself walking amongst the buildings. The point is, get a feel for the place and its facilities.
- Know where your dorm is-home sweet home.
- Recognize building names: specifically the housing, dining, library, student union, health center, sports and fitness facilities, special student services, and the campus security center.
- Get familiar with the building where classes will be held.
- Notice the proximity of the buildings, for example, later it will be helpful to realize your dorm is north of the Student Union.
- Know the administrative departments- you will certainly be spending some time in the Registrars, Bursars, and Academic Programs Offices, just to name a few.
- Understand bus routes, within the campus if it is large and outside the campus as well.
- Look big picture again and get a feel for how the campus is situated within the surrounding community.
- Even if you visited campus already, familiarizing yourself with the big campus picture will go a long way in getting you comfortable with your new home.
Got Emergency Plans?
While looking ahead, to Living the College Life, now is the time to establish some Plan B’s.
- Do you have an emergency plan established with your family? In case they need to contact you or you them?
- Have you included all your family and friends in your contact directory-address book and cell phone contacts?
- Have you included your ICE–In Case of Emergency contact person– in your cell phone directory?
- If you have any specific medical conditions, do have you the proper medical alert information?
- Do you have your health insurance ID and Group ID numbers?
- Have this emergency information ready to go. Your college will be asking for it.
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