Think ahead, save your behind with these easy tips

One of the most exhilarating features of going to college is the complete and total independence you have. It’s just like what Uncle Ben in the first “Spiderman” movie said, “With great independence comes great responsibility.” Well, something like that. 

Planning is an important component of responsibility. It requires considering all aspects of a situation before making decisions. Sometimes people forget to have backup plans. Let’s take a look at a few areas where it might be a good idea to plan for your plans.


Whether you are sharing a dorm room with your best friend or opted for potluck, you will be sharing a 100 square-foot space with this person for the next nine months. Living with someone means learning much more than you ever expected to know about his or her living, bathing, studying, romantic and eating habits. Most people can adjustment or compromise. However, some situations are simply intolerable.  

On-campus residents are required to stay in their appointed room for a minimum of the first two weeks. If you and your roommate are not getting along so well, take this time to become acquainted with other people that might be a better match. If you can’t come to terms with your roommate, having made some new friends will provide a few more options that will (hopefully) turn out for the better. 

Academic Major

If you are lucky enough to think you know what your major is, congratulations! Hopefully, selecting creative writing as your major will get you a job after graduation. 

Trust me, I know what it is like to go through the “Wheel of Majors.” I’m on my fourth (and final?) degree path. But the decision to change majors doesn’t need to be so distressing. For example, I knew I must study music. I started as violin performance, then composition, followed by jazz studies, and finally landed on the most generic choice available for music, a B.A. in music. The wonderful thing about these majors is they all share the same core classes. 

If you have a general idea of what you are interested in, talk to an adviser. Declare a major and enroll in some general education and core classes. If it doesn’t gel with you, make a change and go in a slightly different direction. If all else fails, there is always the Bachelor of General Studies. 


You will be broke. Surviving without any cash flow is part of the college experience for most students. Whether you are attending school via student loans, working hard or Daddy Express, you still have a limited, finite amount of money. 

The status of your bank account lies totally independent of any emergency that comes up.  Banks do not care that you lost all of your biology textbooks the second week of class. The fact that you only have $56.27 to your name doesn’t change that you have two tests next week, and nobody has time to share their books with you.

No matter what your income is, it is vital to have some kind of savings set aside for emergencies. There may not be anything more stressful than not knowing how you are going to be able to pay for the most basic of needs, such as groceries, phone bills, gasoline or rent. 

One of the biggest favors you can do for yourself is simply setting aside a small portion of any income for those unplanned for situations.  

College is crazy, and it is impossible to plan for everything. Don’t underestimate the power of looking ahead. Like the Gump guy said, “Life was like a box of chocolates.” But if you read the box first, at least you know what the options are.