Congratulations, you’re officially a college freshman! This is both an exciting and daunting transition for most students. Help take some of the edge off and start your first year with confidence by doing these 7 things before college starts:

Schedule your campus tour. You can show up and walk around on your own, but scheduling a tour gives will give you more insight into the different areas of campus and what you can expect on your first day. Avoid not knowing how to get to your dorms or your first class and make sure this “to-do” is a priority. While you’re exploring campus, make sure you note where the emergency points and security office are.

Improve your reading skills. Consistent reading not only increases your speed, it helps you process what you’re reading faster. If your freshman English professor hasn’t already assigned summer reading, get your hands on the syllabus or recommended reading list and see how many books you can knock out before the first day of college.

Start networking early. If you haven’t already, consider joining LinkedIn. It’s never too early to start building connections and working your way up to that awesome internship or part-time job. Connect with classmates, friends, and even your professors.

Download time-management and study apps. Make managing college life easy with a little help from your smartphone. From note-taking and citation assistance to time-monitoring and collaborative learning apps, there are a plethora of options available that can make your first year at college a breeze. See a recommended list here and here.

Put together a budget. It’s easy to get carried away with money in college, especially with food, shopping, and weekend trips with friends. Start putting together a budget by analyzing how much money you will need each month for food, gas (if you will have a car on campus), clothes, etc. As much as possible try to stick to this budget – it will help with your financial and prioritization skills down the road.

Prepare for life in a new city. Personal security is important. Stay alert, build a "buddy network" of roomates and new friends where you watch out for one another. Download and use the Virtual Halo app amongst your friends, it will help you check in with each other when you're supposed to, or send out an SOS if you get into an emergency and your buddy's will know where you're at.

Get to know your professors. Show initiative and willingness to participate by developing a relationship with your professor before school starts. As the year goes on, they might also be willing to act as your mentor and guide you through challenging coursework and college life. Remember to be respectful and sincere when contacting them.

Participate in orientation activities. Orientation is a crucial time to start making friends, researching clubs and organizations, and getting to know your campus environment. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to ask questions and get involved.

Reprinted from