Choosing a college is a big decision. You have to think about the cost, the programs available, and the location. For some students, a college located in another state is the best place for them. If that’s the path you’ve chosen, you have a few things to think about that aren’t as important to your in-state friends. Prepare for an out-of-state college move with these simple steps.
Start Planning Early
If classes start on Wednesday, don’t start boxing things up on Saturday. Your move is going to take a lot of work, starting several weeks before you actually hit the road. The first thing you must do is create a complete moving checklist to coordinate all the steps in your relocation.
As you cross off each step, review the remaining steps to make sure you’re getting everything in place on time. Be sure you’ve checked on utilities and cell service. Dig up documents that may be required on campus, like your Social Security card and maybe even your high school diploma.
Set Your Packing Priorities
Everybody knows you can’t pick up everything you own and take it to college. Once again, planning ahead matters. After you choose the right student accommodation for you, get some details. Find out how much space you’ll have, which amenities will be available, and what the policies are for things like microwave ovens and hot plates. Don’t take anything that isn’t permitted, won’t fit, or has already been provided for you.
Don’t be afraid to take along a little taste of home. You may want your state flag, senior yearbook, or even a favorite stuffed animal. You’d be surprised how much difference it makes when you have those small reminders of where you came from.
Learn Your New State
Every state will require some adjustments in your daily life. It could be speed limits on the interstate, sales tax rates, or participation in daylight savings time. If your move is taking you to a new climate, be prepared to adjust. As a new resident of a southern state, you may find out that mosquito repellent is a must-have, while a relocation in the opposite direction may provide your first experience with driving in snow.
Ask in-state students to give an out-of-state student some ideas of what may be different. Talk to admissions staff about what you need to be alert for. In short, communicate with people who will know what adjustments you’ll need to make so that you don’t run into problems.
If you’re heading out of state, you’ll probably have quite a few miles to travel to your new student accommodation. If things are not packed safely and efficiently, you will run into some problems. Fragile electronics and that family picture your mom insisted on sending could end up broken if they aren’t properly protected for the long drive. Bulky items that you haven’t wisely packed could lead to extra trips, extra vehicles, or obstructed views in your car.
Get an early start on gathering boxes and packing materials. When it comes time to get everything into the car, start with the biggest items first. You will be able to fill in the smaller spaces with other belongings. Make sure that everything is properly secured with tie straps, bungee cords, or even seat belts.
Storing Things in Your New State
Wherever you’ve chosen to lay your head at college, you will probably have a fairly limited amount of space. That’s a good thing. There’s no need to break the bank in a dorm or apartment that is bigger than you need. With that said, it’s also good to have some extra things with you.
Recreational items like kayaks or bicycles probably won’t fit in your student accommodation. You may even need somewhere to put winter clothes during the summer and vice versa. A rented storage container is a great way to keep those things securely close by without requiring oversized living quarters.
Heading to college in another state is a big step. With good planning, it can go smoothly and help you get off to a good start in your higher education.