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  • Writer's pictureProvision Staff

The Ultimate College Guide for New Students

Updated: Dec 19, 2023

Starting college can be an exciting new chapter but it can often be overwhelming. To help you navigate this transition, we’ve compiled a guide for new college students. This list will help ensure you’re well-prepared for your academic and personal journey ahead.

Academic Essentials

1. Class Schedule

Once you have registered for your classes, organize your class schedule and be aware of important dates, such as the first day of classes, add/drop deadline, and major assignment due dates. Don’t forget to read each of your class syllabi thoroughly.

2. School Supplies

Gather all the school supplies you will need for your classes, including pens, notebooks, a laptop, flashcards, dividers, and any other essential supplies.

3. Textbooks

Purchase or rent the required textbooks for your courses. Websites like Chegg, Campusbooks, and eBay are just a few sites where you can look to purchase textbooks for a low cost or rent them. Many colleges have Buy/Sale/Trade groups that have been created for students to purchase the books they need for a low cost.

4. Time Management Tools

Invest in planners, calendars, or apps to help you keep track of assignments and deadlines. Not a fan of physical time management tools? There are plenty of apps that can help you stay organized. Notion, Todoist, Evernote, and MyLifeOrganized are just a few examples of digital time management tools that can help you manage your time and deadlines.

5. Technology and Software

Make sure your laptop or tablet is in good working condition and has all the necessary software updated and installed. Many colleges offer free or discounted software packages like Microsoft 365.

Dorm Room Essentials


Bring sheets, blankets, and pillows to make your dorm bed cozy.

2. Storage Solutions

Maximize your limited space with storage bins, under-bed storage, and hanging organizers.

3. Mini Fridge and Microwave

Make sure you check your dorm’s policy on appliances ahead of time and bring what’s allowed.

4. Personal Décor

Make your space feel just like home with photos, posters, and other personal touches.

5. Miscellaneous Items

Stock up on all your bathroom and personal hygiene items. As well as dlaundry supplies and cleaning supplies.

Health and Wellness

1. Health Insurance

Verify that you have health insurance coverage while away at college.

2. Medication and Primary Care

Make sure you have an adequate supply of any prescription medications. If you are moving to a new town, you might need to find a new local pharmacy and primary care physician to get prescription refills and primary care.

3. Gym Clothes

Many college campuses have fitness centers. Make sure you bring workout gear to stay active.

4. Healthy Snacks

Keep some nutritious snacks on hand for those late-night study sessions.

Financial Preparation

1. Bank Account

If you haven’t already, open a bank account for easy access to your funds.

2. Establish a Good Budget

One of the best financial stewardship tools you can have in college is a good budget. Establishing a budget will help you keep track of your spending and can help you save money each month.

3. Keep Financial Aid Up to Date

Make sure all necessary financial aid paperwork is submitted before deadlines. Keep all paperwork in a safe place, like a safe or filing cabinet.

Social and Extracurricular Activities

1. Social Apps

Download social and communication apps to connect with friends and classmates. Some colleges have their own apps to help share important campus news with their staff, faculty, and students.

2. Extracurricular Interests

Do research to find clubs, organizations, and activities you are interested in joining. Some extracurricular activities offer financial aid.

3. Event Calendar

Find out about social and academic events happening on campus by keeping up with your campus’s calendars.

Remember that this guide is just a starting point. Your specific needs may vary depending on your college, personal preferences, and the unique requirements of your chosen major. Be proactive, ask questions, and seek advice from current students to make your transition to college as smooth as possible. College is a time of growth, learning, and fun, so enjoy the experience and make the most of your time on campus!


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