12 Things College Freshmen Should Be Doing Now

Last Updated Aug 2, 2011 2:27 PM EDT

Are you heading to college for the first time later this month? If so, it's important to start getting prepared.Dorm room
Here are 12 things that you should be doing now:

1. Memorize your Social Security number. You're going to need this number a lot when you're registering for classes, applying for a campus job, dealing with financial aid issues and more.

2. Decide whether you want a campus job your first year. College work opportunities fill up fast so you'll want to apply as soon as possible after arriving at school.

3. Have the money talk. What expenses will you be responsible for and what will your parents cover? If the family is using college loans, who will be paying them off down the road?

4. Learn how to do your laundry. This suggestion, from Her Campus, was one that my son ignored before he headed off to college.

5. Write a list of what you'll need to bring with you to school. Some dorm room supplies that you might not have thought about: shower caddy, x-long twin sheets, dry erase board for dorm door and collapsible laundry basket. There are a ton of freshmen dorm packing lists on the web. Here's a dorm list from the College Board.

6. Write a list of what you'll have to buy at Target, Walmart or elsewhere once you arrive on campus.

7. Decide whether you want to buy a fridge/microwave or rent them at school.

8. Ask your parents whether you need health coverage from your school. They will probably have to call their insurer to find out what their policy will or won't cover. Here's a post I wrote about this subject:

Getting Health Coverage in College
9. Make an appointment with your primary care physician.

10. Visit the dentist. Make sure you leave for college with clean teeth and no cavities.

11. If religion is important to you, check to see if there are student groups or church services on campus that will help you connect with a ready-made community.

12. Read The Thinking Student's Guide to College: 75 Tips for Getting a Better Education by Andrew Roberts, a Northwestern University professor. This is my favorite book for college-bound students because it will coach you on how to squeeze the absolute most out of your college years.

Lynn O'Shaughnessy is author of The College Solution, an Amazon bestseller, and she also writes her own college blog at The College Solution.

Read More on CBS MoneyWatch:

20 Best College Degrees in 2011
20 Things High School Students Should Be Doing Now
The Nation's Most Expensive Colleges and Universities
Why America's Most Expensive Colleges Could Hurt Your Wallet
College freshmen image by benuski. CC 2.0.

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