Hi Class of 2016!!! Now that it’s August, you’re all going to have arrived on campus before you know it, but there is still plenty to do before you begin packing your things and flying/driving to Baltimore for Orientation. Here are a few suggestions for how to spend the rest of your summer to ensure the smoothest transition to college life in September:
Start your dorm shopping!: By now you guys have probably already started the dorm room shopping, but if you haven’t, quickkkk get to Target/ Bed Bath & Beyond/ wherever you intend to do your back-to-school shopping SOON! You’re going to be buying things that you’re going to have to live with for the next four years, so try to get moving on the shopping while there’s a good selection. Your bedspread and room accessory choices will quickly start to diminish after mid-July.
Make sure you’ve gone over the JHU packing list!: The packing list is actually very comprehensive and includes a lot of little things that you probably wouldn’t have thought of yourself but may very well need at school (ie duct tape). A few other things that I’m glad I decided to get for my dorm room were a full-length mirror, mini bookshelf for notebooks and textbooks, hooks (the ones that can be hung on the wall by adhesive strips), lots of pillows (makes doing homework on the bed a lot more comfortable), microwavable (!!!) dishes, and extra ink cartridges if you’re bringing a printer.
Order your textbooks: It’s so much better to just get this done before you get to campus. Go to the JHU Barnes and Noble website to view your textbooks for all your classes, and then compare the prices with other textbook sites like Amazon and Chegg to see where you will get the best deal. Make sure you’re getting the right edition of the textbook, and make sure that you’re getting all of the required package components (ie. online access codes, workbooks, and solutions manuals) that your professor requests. If you decide to get your books from Barnes and Noble, you can request to pick up your books after the first day of classes – definitely a convenient option for those flying to Baltimore!
Buy a planner: You are going to have a ton of things to keep track of – club meetings, athletic events, office hours, exam dates, due dates for papers, review sessions, concerts, birthday parties – too many things to name. Freshman year I tried to get away with not having a planner, but I finally gave in after being a disorganized mess for about two weeks. Save yourself the trouble and get a planner, or iCal is great too.
Check out the orientation website!: You’re about to come to campus for the first time as a student instead of as a prospective or admitted student, and you’re probably dying to know what your first few days will be like! The orientation staff will be updating the orientation website throughout August so that you can get a better idea what you’re in for when you arrive in Baltimore at the end of the month. Get ready for a very event-filled first week!
Visit your favorite places at home: restaurants, malls, etc.: You’re probably not going to be home again until Thanksgiving or for winter break, so take advantage of it! Go to your favorite places, eat at your favorite restaurants, and spend time with your family.
Start reading the news everyday: Having a general knowledge of what’s going on in the world is crucial and will help you immensely in college. If you’re taking any humanities seminars, it’s always helpful to be able to relate what you’re studying to modern society. However, regardless of which classes you’re taking, you are about to be a student at one of the best universities in the world. I think once you’re at that point, you should what is happening in our own country and abroad.
Cook for your family: You might not see your siblings or parents for a few months, so this is a great way to bond with them, and you’ll get a delicious meal out of it! Hopefully you’ll also learn how to cook something that you can make for your friends at school, which I’m sure they’ll be very thankful for once you all start to miss home cooking.
Read for fun: You’re not going to have the chance to read for leisure again until winter break. If you’re feeling really ambitious, try to pick up some classic books that you never got the chance to read in high school. Classic books are occasionally referenced in almost any sort of literature class you will ever take, and it’s really good to have a working knowledge of at least a few examples of classic lit so that you can relate these books to what you’re studying or bring them up in a class discussion.
Consider getting a Netflix or HuluPlus Subscription: If you and your roommate don’t feel like paying the $32/month for cable, Netflix and Hulu are great options! You can basically watch TV whenever you want online, it’s great. You probably won’t be watching a ton of TV at school, but sometimes watching a few Friends re-runs after your Cell Bio reading is exactly what you want to do. For $8/month, I think it’s totally worth it.
Bonus: Read the blogs on HopkinsInteractive!!!: We (current students) are here to help you and we’ve written a TON of blogs over the years about our experiences at Hopkins so that you can get a better idea of what life is like at this school! You can read about anything from Baltimore restaurants to joining a sorority to studying abroad to the buildings on campus with the best bathrooms (thanks Nick). Next time your bored, before you open Facebook, try checking out Hopkins-interactive.com!