1. Get the orientation—early. At
your school’s orientation, you’ll not only
learn your way around campus and find out
about various college services, you’ll also
probably pick and sign up for your courses.
And, as with airplane seats, once the places
are gone, they’re gone.
2. Get some hardware—and software. Though iPads and other tablets are
quite the rage, we believe that a laptop is a
much better choice for college. It’s easier to
take notes in class with a regular keyboard,
and when writing papers you’ll want a device
that uses Word and Excel.
3. Surf the college website. Here
you’ll find not only the campus calendar and
the college’s rules and regulations, but also
actual course syllabuses that will help you learn
more about what each class entails before you
choose your schedule. And while you’re at it,
check out the majors and career information.
4. Get the books. While most students’
natural inclination is to buy books at the college bookstore, you can often get a much better
deal on websites such as www.cheapesttext
books.com, www.chegg.com, www.bigwords.
com and www.textbooks.com. Be sure to consider all book “modalities”: E-books, semester-long book rentals and used copies are all ways
to save on the $600 to $800 that students routinely pay for each semester’s books.
5. Reach out to your roommate.
Summer’s a great time to “friend” your roommate on Facebook or email. You can learn
about his or her interests, hobbies and inte-rior-decorating ideas, and you can also set
dorm or apartment rules.
6. Have “the talk.” Talk about finances
with your parents so that you’re all on the
same page: Are you expected to have a part-time job? Are you expected to contribute your
own savings? Are you expected to limit
expenses in certain ways? And are you
expected to maintain a certain grade point
average? A meeting of minds at the outset can
avert much grief later on.
back to school
10 tasks for
students to get
ready for college
The Costco Connection
Students will find a variety of classroom, dorm
room, bedroom, bathroom, automotive and
health supplies at Costco and on Costco.com.
Costco Cash cards provide a convenient way for
parents to provide help and control expenses.
7. Do the “common read.” Many
colleges have assigned summer reading—
often a book of social or political interest—
that students need to read before their
first-year experience course or first-year seminar. Be sure to carefully read this book (don’t
just skim it) well in advance.
8. Get a health check. If possible, see
your family doctor and get a general checkup.
Renew any prescriptions you might need for
college. College health services are often big,
anonymous places, and you’ll probably feel
more comfortable with a doctor you know.
9. Tune up your car. Especially if
you’re commuting to school, you’ll want to
have the oil changed, tires checked and
repairs taken care of. You wouldn’t want to
have a breakdown or blowout on the way to
the first day of classes, not to mention the
midterm or final.
10. Relax. You’ll arrive rested and
ready to work if you’ve given yourself some
R&R before classes start. And if you're a first-generation or returning student, don't worry.
You'll find many students at college in the
same situation and you'll fit right in. C
Costco members and college professors Lynn F.
Jacobs and Jeremy S. Hyman are co-authors of
The Secrets of College Success: Over 800
Tips, Techniques and Strategies Revealed
(Jossey-Bass, 2013; available for purchase on
their website, www.professorsguide.com).
AUGUST 2014 ;e Costco Connection 29
By Lynn F. Jacobs and
Jeremy S. Hyman
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