The Daily Gamecock

4 ways to get ahead for fall semester

Small lakes line the Harrison Hills segment of the Ice Age Trail in Lincoln County. (Chelsey Lewis/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS)
Small lakes line the Harrison Hills segment of the Ice Age Trail in Lincoln County. (Chelsey Lewis/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel/TNS)

With approximately 50 days of summer before classes begin, the nitty-gritty details of college might be the last thing on a student’s mind. However, now is an excellent time to start getting things ready for the fall semester … and maybe taking a few last-minute road trips as well.

Don't become a couch surfer: Do you have a place to live?

Not living on campus can bring a wave of excitement. New place, new people and more new adventures add to the fun time at USC. But if you’ve put off finding an apartment or a house because of the craziness of the spring semester until finals crept up, it really is time to figure out where to live. Many complexes lower their rents closer to when classes start, so try to jump on a deal if you can.

Find textbooks to rent and/or buy, because you can’t borrow from your friends the whole year.

Although there is some time left before classes start, the extra time allows you to find the best deal on textbooks. Have a friend who took the class you’re going to take a semester or two ago? See if you can buy or rent it from them cheaply. Amazon has good deals on renting textbooks, and they are often cheaper than renting from the USC bookstore. Figure out if you want to rent or buy books from a website like Chegg, or if a classic textbook would suit your needs. Starting early gives you extra time to find the best deals, save money and have one less thing to worry about when classes start.

Evaluate your major: Is underwater basket weaving really going to give you the career you want?

Summer is also a good time to evaluate the major you have. Figure out if your current path is fulfilling now and will continue to fulfill you in the future. Is your GPA tanking? The major you currently have might be too difficult for the time you are willing to give it. Perhaps there is another major that will help you achieve the same end goals, or maybe those end goals have changed. Without the load of classwork hanging over your head, now is a great time to really be honest with yourself.

Take a last-minute road trip.

Go to that one place you’ve always said you’d go to but have never gotten around to visiting. With all the tips for getting a head-start on preparation for the fall, there is still plenty of time to take that day trip to the beach, the mountains or that one city that you and your friends have always wanted to go to. Now is a great time to travel and make memories without the pressure of classwork.