Tips & Tricks

Stuff You Really Should Take Care of Before College.

As of this month, it has been about a year since I left Seattle, Washington to Denver, Colorado for my first year college endeavor. It also happens to be my 1st anniversary as being gluten-free! Yay! I anticipate some festive party hats and GF cake in my near future…mom….

Anyways, I have taken it about myself to create this realistic, not-yo-mamma type of back to school check list that I wish I had had possession of myself when I was a young lass leaving the nest a year ago.

Read on, young grasshoppers.

A Celiac’s First Year Checklist:

  • Find out the details about your dorm’s kitchen/cooking situation. {does your residence have a communal kitchen? Personal kitchen? No kitchen? Microwave? Mini fridge? Be that obnoxious kid who needs to know all the nitty gritty details about the place before getting there.}
  • Email the dining hall manager and see if you can set up a meeting with him/her. {take a look at the sample contact e-mail I wrote}
  • Buy needed cooking utensils. Do this AFTER you get to college if you are flying there so that you don’t have to worry about somehow getting all those pots and pans to your destination. {click here for my basic list}
  • Do some online research about gluten free restaurants and grocery stores near your campus so that you have some options of places to eat out/grocery shop once you get there.
  • Talk with parents about a monthly or yearly budget for food/groceries. {Are they willing to pitch in for your food, aside from what is offered at the dining hall? Can you negotiate a budget for food spending money?}
  • Consider what foods you like to eat at home, and think about how you can make (or modify) these foods at school. {This process will make you consider what kinds of kitchen utensils/equipment you need, which ingredients you should have on hand, etc.}
An In-General College Student’s First Year Checklist:
  • Uncover the magic of 8tracks. {Mixes on this website have gotten me through hours upon hours of studying.} 
  • If possible, rent your textbooks online a week or two before classes start. {Are you really going to need “Calculus For Life Sciences” after the course? No.}
  • PACK EARLY WITH A DETAILED LIST OF WHAT YOU NEED IN HAND.
  • If you are flying to school, try to take an airline like Southwest. {They allow you to check in 2 bags for free! This is a godsend when you are pretty much moving your whole life.}
  • Go on ratemyprofessor.com to be ahead of the game when it comes to knowing what to expect when you enter the classroom.
  • Buy lots and lots of comfy but cute lounging clothes. {Chances are, if you are at all like me, you end a long day of classes with a change into very un-sexy pajama type clothing. This can become a hindering of your friend-making capabilities when you are living in a dorm with fellow students and possibly peers of the opposite sex (gasp!). Trust me and invest in some cute yoga pants, nice sweaters, and slippers that aren’t bunnies.}
  • Check out the gym for the first time during off hours. {Wandering in confused and overwhelmed while the place is crawling with fit college students makes you look like an obvious new freshman, therefore making you look less cool.}
  • Don’t don’t don’t go into the showers without flip flops. {No lie, some dumb boy who had too much to drink one night decided to go #2 in my hall’s girl’s showers. Blehhhhhhh.}
  • Bring enough quarters to attract attention from airport security. {Quarters are like gold to students with dirty laundry that has been sitting around for weeks.}
  • Expect to encounter that one fraternity where all they seem to do is sit out on their porch day-drinking and blasting music while everyone else is trudging to class, feeling a little less cool than they did earlier. {When do these people actually go to class?}
  • Anticipate meeting some weirdos, seeing some things you wish you hadn’t seen, learning a lot {or a little}, encountering some of the smartest {and stupidest} people you’ve ever known, and experiencing one of the most exciting parts of life!
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