It’s time for back to school. Every child, teenager, undergraduate and graduate student will be groaning and moaning for the next few days as the summer days close in on them. However, college students are in preparation of careers which requires them to be more amp to be prepared. As a recent college graduate, I’ve identified the top ten most important things that a college student should be have and some tips on saving money especially if you are a struggling and broke student like I was! Please take note that this list is not in any particular order.
1. Books — When you find out your classes, try to talk to friends and students who took these classes to see what books you may need. It’s a great idea to contact the professor of that course via email or stopping by their office to confirm that a new ediion may not be used or if an older edition can be used. This will give you time to find bargains online for these books, rental rates for advance confirmation and what friends might bargain with us to borrow their book for the semester. I did alot of borrowing from friends and rentals of classes that were not major specific.
2. Computer — You need access to one. My freshman year, I didn’t have one and used the library religiously. If you’re on campus to live, the library is a great place to use the lab if it’s available for extended hours when you don’t have a pc. When you become too lazy, like I did, to stroll to the library for computer access, purchase one with enough space for minimal entertainment and plenty of storage. Don’t forget your handy USB and McAfee for you PC users! My computer crashed twice in undergrad without McAfee.
3. Agenda/Calendar — As you become active on campus, it’s essential to keep an agenda and calendar to build your organizational skills. Your campus bookstore will sell plenty that will let you display your school pride or you can go to a disounter like Target or Wal-Mart for a great price! I found it helpful to get a portfolio that contained an agenda, calendar and slots to keep plenty of resumes!
4. Resumes/Business Cards — Regardless of your major, it’s an advantage to keep a resumes and business cards handy as you grow in your career path. Attend plenty of workshops and Google networking business cards which are great for college students. It’s an added positive to your professionalism.
5. The RatPack — The RatPack (4) consists of binders, folders, writing utensils and paper.
6. Your brain — Don’t leave home without it! You might think this is a given but considering the extreme heat of the summer you’ll probably still be on vacation the first week of school. Restructure your mind to be focused for the semester before you go on a short vacation again in the winter!
7. Job — You might or might not need one but it’s another great thing to add to your resume even if it’s just on campus and less than 20 hours a week! Becoming an RA at a dorm has the perk of free housing and a new skill of leadership to brag about later. There’s plenty of on-campus jobs not centered on financial aid as well. Pick one that you’d be interested in learning something from. You’ll gain some new skills that will impress future employers!
8. Good attitude — Why? Because your attitude means everything in succeeding in college. It’s not about being “smart” at all, from my experience. It’s all about the work you put into it! You might have plenty of cheerleaders in your corner as you move up the ranks, but you are your biggest cheerleader! Besides, when you get in the networking ring, you’ll need alot of courage to put yourself out there!
9. Good ethics — Ethics=Integrity=Honest. Believe it or not people can be dismissed from college because of incorrect citing or information or being a cheater. Most professors take it personal when you cheat in their classes so be careful! Besides, it’s not worth losing scholarships and family support for it. Take that B- with an honest smile!
10. POSITIVE friends — You need them. They’ll become your first network as you begin to branch out in campus organizations and community events. Having great friends in your corner will allow you freedom to express yourself and people to consult when it comes to classes and coursework.
College isn’t easy, but it’s worth the effort and the journey. It’s even better when you’re properly prepared.