Preparing for College

Congratulations on being accepted into college! As you know, there are lots of things you need to do ahead of time. We’ve outlined a few essentials below to help you prepare for this next chapter in your life.

Pack Smart

Figure out your packing strategy ahead of time, such as what items you want to take with you versus what items you can purchase after you arrive. If you plan on going home in the future, it may make sense to pack for one season at a time and switch out your items when you go home. There are several helpful “going away to college” checklists online, such as this one, which outlines everything you need, from linen and laundry supplies to toiletries, electronics, office supplies and more.

Meet Your Roommate

If your college tells you ahead of time who your roommate is, try to meet them if they live in the area, or talk to them as soon as possible. If you don’t click, you may be able to get a new roommate before the semester begins.

Schedule a Well Visit

Before you go off to college, schedule a well visit with your doctor to make sure you are up-to-date on all vaccines. Many colleges require that you receive the meningococcal vaccines prior to starting your first semester. Also remember to pack all your medications and prescriptions.

Check Your Car

If you’re driving to college, make sure your car is in good shape. Get an oil change, check the air in your tires, or take it to a mechanic for a check up.

Stay Busy and Try New Things

When you go away to college, you may feel homesick, which is a completely normal and common reaction. To help combat this feeling, stay busy by exploring and becoming familiar with your campus, make new friends, or volunteer or join a club. Chances are your friends and fellow students are feeling the same way, too, so feel free to open up to them about your homesickness. There may even be freshman support groups available, or you can reach out to professionals, such as an on-campus psychologist. Overall, remember to stay positive – the feeling will go away over time.

Remember, your UPMC Children's Community Pediatrics office is here for you. Our practices will continue treating illnesses and providing preventative care into early adulthood. If you have any questions at all or need to schedule an appointment, give your office a call. We wish you the best in health and happiness throughout your college years.