Tips to help students get ready for college

August is here, and students will head­ing to college soon.

Harlan Cohen, author of the New York Times best-selling college guide, "The Na­ked Roommate: And 107 Other Issues you Might Run Into in College," says there is plenty that students can do this summer to ease the transition to college.

Harlan’s "Summer To-Do List for Col­lege-Bound Students" includes:

Check in with your new roommate: Unless you want to have two micro­waves and two lava lamps in your dorm room, talk with your roommate and figure out who is bringing what. Also, avoid judging them based solely on their social network profile – pick up the phone and chat.

Start packing: Over-packing is a rookie mistake. To help keep things in perspective, set up three boxes or duffel bags – one for things that are un­questionably necessary, one for what might be needed in the near future and one for what you need later. Rule of thumb is one carload full is enough.

Find your place on campus: This can be done during the summer. Ori­entation programs are a good time to get acquainted with the activities and resources available. Start with what interested you the most in high school – academic, social, athletic, philan­thropic – and go from there.

Get the right people in your corner: Every student should have five people in their corner on campus. Introduce yourself via email and make an ap­pointment or plan to attend a meeting when you get to school. Your support system can include a wide range of people, from professors to spiritual leaders.

Talk to your parents: Work out a plan for when you’re going to talk once you get to campus (or plan on having issues). Set up a schedule for when they’ll visit you and when you’ll come home.

Cohen also shares his top five tips for making sure your child doesn’t get lost or out of control in college:

Don’t be the roomate from hell: Set the ground rules to talk about prob­lems before they become a problem.

Be smart about being stupid: Stu­dents who create a world of options always have options. Not all students get wasted.

Celebrate bad grades sooner rath­er than later: Get help before you need it. There’s nothing to celebrate in De­cember.

The cure for homesickness is nev­er at home: Two-thirds of students will get homesick. Plan for it and minimize it.

Lean on your personal financial adviser: If you’re overwhelmed