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Aug 06, 2014 04:17 PM EDT

Tips for Freshman College Students: A Crash Course in Preparing for the Next Part of Your Life

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Heading into the last month of summer vacation, move-in day is rapidly approaching for college freshmen all over the nation.

Adjusting to college can be quite jarring for many students, especially those moving across state lines. College is often the first time many young people are away from home for an extended period of time.

Three separate pieces for USA Today provide tips for freshmen ranging from travel arrangements to financial planning to socializing and more.

Here is a rundown of some essentials in prepping for college.

Getting there:

1.     One thing you might want to do before even leaving is call the school's housing department to make sure your living situation is all set up.

2.     Be sure to sweat the little stuff, like your contact lens case or your laptop charger (especially) if it has two adjoining pieces). Other important items include an umbrella, a desk lamp, laundry holder, book bag, shower caddy and shower shoes (sandals, Crocs, etc.).

3.     Change the oil in your car if the drive is long and call up that mechanic relative of yours and ask for a quick tune-up.

Upon arrival:

1.     Do not rush your parents out. You've spent the last 18 years of your life under their roof, just let them linger an extra hour or two.

2.     Look up your school's Welcome Week event schedule and pick out ahead of time which ones you'd like to go to.

3.     It is never too early to meet your professors, academic advisor and other faculty members in the department of your major. Remember, these people are your future references.

4.     Walk around campus, get acquainted with the major landmarks and quickly seek out the classrooms your courses are in, it'll make it easier on you a week later amidst a mob of students.

Classes begin:

Patrick O'Brien, author of "Making College Count" (2010), wrote for USA Today that showing up to class is the best tip any freshman could possibly take to heart. He noted it alleviates many potential headaches before they even happen.

1.     The number one rookie mistake in college is skipping too many times.

2.     The semester's first class is quite important, as your professors will be telling you which textbooks and supplies you actually need.

3.     Cramming never works and professors often stray from the books.

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