Freshman Five: Checking Off the Winter To-Do List

Morning, lovelies! This morning I woke up with a feeling I haven't felt in a while: the urge to be productive! I just realized that a week from today I will be walking out of my Data Analytics class. (Translation: I'M GOING BACK TO COLLEGE). Suffice to say I am truly excited to have a real day-to-day schedule, see my friends, begin planning events with my Fraternity, etc. but alas, the regular dread of leaving my comfy bed and Netflix-induced coma has arrived. I know a lot of colleges are different, but here are just some general things you should make sure to have done before you go back to school for the new year!

Scan the To-Do List // Every college and university has some sort of website or portal for you to schedule classes, track grades, pay tuition, etc. These usually have a to-do list somewhere - ProTip: Don't ignore it! Here at ASU, they recently instituted a Sexual Abuse and Consent course that all students are required to complete before they can begin attending classes for the new semester. It's very informative and not very long, but it's the little things like this that you need to make sure not to overlook!

Check Your FAFSA // The Free Application for Student Aid opens up on January 1st every year - now you have time to fill this out, but for the best possible amount of aid, you should complete this as soon as possible. There are many scholarships, whether through the university or not, require that you file a FAFSA - it does not take very long and the steps are fairly simple. (If you happen to be a high school student reading this blog, the same goes for you when you're applying to universities - get your FAFSA in ASAP!).

Find and Fill Out Applications // While FAFSA technically falls into this little bullet, I'm talking more about general scholarships and any programs you are looking at for the summer or for the next school year. Just because you already received scholarships for your first year of college does not necessarily mean they can all be renewed for the rest of your years. Also, now that you're sort of a college pro, you can start looking into travel programs! I am currently looking to apply for a short month-long study abroad program this summer! *fingers crossed*

Buy Some of Your Textbooks // Now I know that most people tell you not to buy any of your books until after syllabus week, but if you did your research on some of the teachers beforehand, or you can probably do a bit of assuming from your course list, there will probably be at least one or two books that you can buy now. Great thing about Amazon: you can return the books if your teacher says you don't need it! I know a lot of people hate returning things, but I'd much rather potentially return a book than struggle to order it or wait in line at the bookstore hoping to find a copy because you already have an assignment due at the next class.

Relax // If you're like me, you're probably feeling a bit stressed because the approach of the semester means meeting new professors, getting readjusted to college, work, etc. Just remember that you are awesome! The semester hasn't started yet and you have time! If you're usually busy during the semester, reward yourself with a movie or a treat for accomplishing something on your "Before the Semester Starts" list. Go out to dinner with some friends as a farewell to winter. Buy an extra book or two to keep in your room or in your bag if you ever find a free moment. Smile because you survived last semester and you are going to conquer this next one!

Catch you next time.


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