Before the First Semester

A lot of incoming college students don’t realize how much there is to be done before they arrive. Of course, there are many more things a resident will have to do than a commuter, but everyone has their responsibilities. 

Financial Aid is a biggie. Most schools have a deadline of April 1st or earlier. Once you get your Financial Aid award letter, you’ll want to accept or decline it as soon as possible; until you do, your financial aid is not definite. In my case, I was awarded Federal Work Study.  Different schools have different policies on how to go about getting a placement.  At my old Community College, There was a paper application you had to fill out listing your skills, work experience, etc.  At the State University, though, once you are awarded Federal Work Study you gain access to the job listings on their online employment database.  Then you just submit a resume to each position that you are interested in.  I like the State way better.  🙂

There are some other forms I had to fill out as well. The medical history form was necessary in order to receive medical aid on campus.  Since I will be a resident, it was especially important.  Another important section of paperwork that I had to take care of was for Disability Services.  I have a history of general anxiety and panic attacks, and in order to receive aid on campus one needs documentation.  They gave me a great piece of information listing the facts needed, which helped me in my efforts to collect letters about my history and treatment from both my Primary Care Physician and the campus counselor at my Community College.  I applied for a medical single due to a long list of events in which things were stolen from me (even from a roommate) and the increased panic that would result from not knowing/trusting my roommate or the people they let into our room.  I will receive in-class help for my anxiety, and I am waiting to hear about my dorm assignment, but the Disability Services lady seemed optimistic that I would indeed get a single room.

State’s dorm assignments for incoming students this year are being sent out this coming week starting August 1st.  Once I get the packet I will be able to supply more information concerning what I consider the beginning of my dorm experience.  I did, however, want to point out a few things that I have already encountered.  I have already contacted the Residence Life office to make sure that the mattresses are indeed Twin XL so that I can buy the necessary bedding. 

I have also sent in my rental request for a MicroFridge unit.  My University is very green (solar panels and everything) and a MicroFridge rental unit guarantees that the resident can have a microwave and fridge. Their requirements are very strict – they require Energy Star approval and the microwave/fridge unit can only take up one plug total.  Since a unit like that would be very expensive, and since I’ll only be on campus for two years, it makes more sense financially.

Check out my next blog entry, which will feature a suggested list of items to bring with you to campus (along with some commentary by me) and sources that I found useful in compiling my list.  🙂

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