Back to School Guide: College Edition

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It’s that time of year again. Time to head back to school. Starting college is a new level of responsibility and excitement and there are so many more things to consider beyond new clothes and school supplies. If you’re new to the city, you’ll need to figure out where to live, where to get a job, and so much more. And depending on where you came from around the country those new unique weather patterns could be a bit of a shock. Going back to school and starting college are exciting times, so here are some things to think about as you head into the school year.

Financial Aid

Sometimes there are last-minute financial aid documents that need to be signed in order to get all of the funding you need for school. Filling out this paperwork could help you get some cash back to cover your expenses like books and housing. Make sure you have all of these documents complete so you can start your classes on time. If you haven’t taken this important step, it may not be too late to get funding. Talk to your school and turn in all the important paperwork like a completed FAFSA.


College textbooks are known for their exorbitant prices. It’s true. There are many ways to get discounts and save money, however. You can put up requests to buy someone’s from last year. You can find deals on Amazon and other online bookstores. Scour the college library for used textbooks as well. Some roommates take similar classes and are able to share certain textbooks. It’s important to think outside the box when it comes to buying college textbooks.


Having your own computer is essential for college these days. You may also want to have a printer of your own for those midnight homework assignments you need to turn in in the morning. Make sure the technology you have is compatible with the school systems. Often the school will send out information regarding the best computer system requirements to ensure you have something that will work best.

Job Hunting

Looking for a part-time job when you start college can feel like a big step. While many applications are online, if you do go in to ask for an application somewhere, make sure you are dressed and ready for an interview. Whether the job is at a local fast-food place or in an office building, it’s best to dress up and bring your resume. Some employers will interview people on the spot, and you could walk out with a job in no time. Find places to work that are either close to home or close to your University. That way, when you need to leave class to work, you are close by.


Apartment hunting is one of the fun parts of starting college in a new city. Furnished apartments are a great alternative to dorm rooms. They are a more modern option and often provide amenities that a dorm does not. Search apartment websites or get a real estate agent to help you find something nearby. You’ll need to know your overall budget and some of your must haves. For instance, if you have a dog, you already know you need an apartment that is pet-friendly. If there is a particular neighborhood you would prefer, you can make that need known as well.

Medical Records

Living away from home means you’ll need important documents with you. Important medical history including medications and shot records will be vital when you seek out new medical doctors near your college. By taking a copy of your medical records with you, they’ll be able to see patterns or needs in your history that they might have missed without it. Keep these in a safe and secure place.

School Supplies

Since each student has different study habits and needs, your choice of school supplies will vary. A good planner, either physical or digital can help you track big assignments, important deadlines, and even school breaks. It’s a great way to stay organized. Highlighters, notebooks, and binders are also high on the list of college school supplies. Get items you think you’ll need and make sure you have enough pens or pencils to take notes. 

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About Kristin

Master reviewer of all types of products. Love XL Fountain Sodas!! Cheer Mom extraordinaire. Socialite to all things small town and founder of Come socialize and connect with me.


  1. Dana Rodriguez says

    These are great tips. So many things to take into consideration.

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