July 30, 2009 4:22 PM

Prep for Cal!

I hope everyone's having a great summer! I really wish I hadn't forgotten my camera battery recharger at Berkeley (I'm in SoCal right now). Anyways, my sister's already packing up stuff in preparation for the move to college. For incoming freshmen, or anyone interested, here are some things that I think you guys might find helpful to do:

1. get a credit card
I know a lot of us out there have credit cards that our parents gave us, but it's really important to have your own credit card issued from your own bank account in order to build credit. I remember trying to apply for a credit card after my senior year of high school, but I kept getting rejected because I had no credit. I finally had to walk into the bank, sit down, and talk to someone to set up a student checking account. This is much easier than trying to do it online or anything, because chances are, you won't be able to.

2. Visit the Tang Center
The Tang Center is the university's health services building. It's located on Bancroft, about 2 blocks down from Telegraph. I'm not sure if it's on the checklist of things you guys have to do, but it's really important to give them a copy of your health and immunization record. You'll also be issued a "gold card" if you paid for SHIP. I'm not sure if you get one if you're not on SHIP. I know SHIP costs a lot, but my mom's logic is that if anything happens to me in Berkeley, it's much more convenient and accessible to depend on the Tang Center and pay the SHIP fees, instead of dealing with a whole mess of equivalent insurance later on. I would also recommend getting a meningitis shot.

3. Prep for Class
You should definitely print out your schedule for the entire week. I recommend visiting each of your classes before the start of the semester just to know where everything is. Trust me, that little map of Berkeley makes things look a lot closer than they actually are. As for books, I generally buy textbooks before the start of class. These are the textbooks that I'm 110% sure are going to be used for class. As for additional texts and materials, I wait until the professor hands out the syllabus.

4. Welcome Week
In my year, it was actually a week long, full of activities and free food. Last year, it was only about 2 days. I would definitely go to Caltopia. Besides getting loads of free pens, you might learn about exciting new opportunities!

If you're living in an apartment, be sure to start your electricity and internet services before you move in. I remember during my freshman year, I didn't realize I had to set up electricity myself. I ended up crashing at my friends' dorm for 2 nights...not the cleanest of carpets, I must say.

It's also a smart idea to go exploring around Berkeley to familiarize yourself with the surrounding area. Check out the awesome food options and bus lines!

Anyways, I hope you guys have a great summer! Enjoy the remaining time to the max!

Victoria Eng | Permalink | Comment on this article | Comments (0)

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