Getting ready for nursing school is a big deal and if you’re going to be a new student this fall, now is the time to get organized so your year is off to a good start.

Corral Your Paperwork

You’ve probably already been flooded with mail, email, papers from orientation, and any other school offices. You’ll have information and deadlines for choosing courses, getting matched with a roommate, accepting your scholarship or financial aid, and sports team trainings and schedules.

While it might look like you can just put some of this to the side, you have to check each and every piece of correspondence to make sure you know what your responsibilities are. If you don’t accept your financial aid package, you might not get it. If you don’t sign up for courses on time, there are lots of other students ready to fill those slots. And you don’t want to be late with your tuition payments either.

Know the deadlines and write them on the calendar or put them on your phone. Then highlight them or send yourself reminders and don’t miss a single one.

Get Yourself Prepared

If your parents wake you up every day so you get to work or school or other commitments on time, have them stop. There’s no one to wake you up at college and this is your first step toward becoming more responsible for yourself.

Get your act together by setting a loud alarm and putting it across your room so you have to get out of bed to turn it off. And don’t even think of crawling back into bed!

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Become Dorm Ready

Lots of colleges give out suggestion lists for what you need to bring to school. Take a look at it, ask friends, and check Pinterest for great ideas. Also ask people what they bought and didn’t use. Save yourself some money and hassle in the long run by only bringing what’s useful.

If you take medications, find out where the nearest pharmacy is and if your school has any kind of prescription delivery program. If you’ll need any kind of monitoring by a doctor near your college, find one this summer so you aren’t caught by surprise if you need medical attention when you’re on campus.

Get to Know Your College

Successful nursing students have a team to watch their backs. Since you’re not on campus yet, you can’t really get that team together now, but you can start thinking about how to do that. Spend time learning about your college and try to establish an idea of clubs you’ll join or support services you might use.

If you have a person at the college (like a tutor in the academic support center, a professor or department head, or even someone in health services) who can advocate for you if you ever need it, your years will be easier.

Stretch Your Wings

One of the best parts of nursing school is getting to know other students who are all as passionate about nursing as you are. Join a group chat for students in your graduating year or from the specific program you are interested in. Ask questions, and make plans to meet up when school starts.

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Your years in nursing school are what you make of them. Getting out of your dorm room or the library to meet others and have new experiences will give you a much better college experience.

Julia Quinn-Szcesuil
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