If you’re heading off to college for the first time, you may find it helpful to plan ahead. More specifically, you may want to prep a checklist of things to do in order to be ready come fall. Moving away to college can be an intimidating and stressful process if you are not adequately prepared. While there are many things that could go on your list, here are five of the most important items to check off on your college prep list.

1. Catch Up on Your Reading

The U.S. News and World Report suggests that students might want to get into the habit of reading – a lot. College coursework requires more reading than most students have had to do during high school. Picking up books to read throughout the summer leading up to the fall semester is one way to prep for this. For extra benefit, you can read more challenging books like biology primers or foreign-language texts.

2. Campus Safety

Many students will be living away from home for the first time. They will have freedoms they’ve never had, but they’ll also face more danger. If you’re among those who’ll be on your own for the first time, you can prep for the upcoming year by taking a refresher course in self-defense and by getting acquainted with campus safety resources.

3. Extra Storage Space

Sometimes moving away to college is really moving away, especially if your parents plan to downsize as a result of the changes size of their household. If you aren’t sure about what to take with you and what to leave behind, think about looking into a storage unit. Consider hiring a moving company like Christos & Christos Moving and Storage to assist you in transporting all your things to your new home away from home. This will eliminate unnecessary stress and allow you the extra time to complete to-do lists.

4. Learn Time Management

Many students struggle with this skill set because they’re not used to planning their time at all or at least very little. College life comes with more freedom in terms of scheduling, but this can actually be a drawback for the student who’s not prepared for it. Don’t be the student who’s not prepared for managing your time. Take a course. Read up on this vital skill. You’ll thank yourself later.

5. Learn Some Life Skills

If you’ve never done your own laundry, you might want to pick up that skill before you leave home. Ditto for cooking and grocery shopping. It might also be beneficial to practice budgeting and balancing a checkbook. You’ll need all those skills once you’re living on your own. Might as well learn them now. Having to learn them later will only add to your stress levels.

Going to college is a wonderful experience. It also comes with its list of challenges from figuring out where to put your extra stuff to learning how to manage your time. By implementing these five things on your to-do list, you’ll be guaranteeing yourself a much smoother transition from being a high school student to being a college student.