After College

Things To Do Before Moving Away From Home

It’s now that time in your life where you’re either getting ready to pack up your stuff and head to the college of your dreams or the college of your dreams has pushed you off a cliff and into the waters that is the real world. Whether you’ve decided to get your own place right after graduation or venture off to the opposite coast, there are some things you should handle before moving away from home. Same thing goes for you, freshie.

1. Update your insurance.

Your insurers need to know when you are leaving the state listed in your file. Some insurance companies have different policies for the people they cover and it can depend on the state you live in.

Health insurance: Most companies allow children to stay on their parents’ insurance plan up until the age of 26. However, make sure you double check. In addition, a lot of colleges require their students be covered with medical insurance, so if you aren’t, it might be time to evaluate your options to become covered. All campuses offer health insurance as long as you are a student, and the cost is included in the tuition. If you are insured, you can waive this fee.


Car insurance: There is a plus to bringing your car on campus, other than having the freedom to come and go as you please. You can get discounts! If you’re on your parents plan, check and see what discounts they can get. If you’re not, make sure you explore your options, and always, always get your car insured. If you plan on changing your home-state legally, insure and register your car in the state you are moving to.

Property insurance: Students who are living on campus with their can’t-live-without laptops, TVs and other expensive beloved items, are covered by their parent’s homeowners or renters insurance. However, if you legally change your address to the new school address, or your the address of your new home, you will have to claim their own property insurance. Check your property coverage!


2. Change your doctor.

On the topic of health and insurance is obviously your healthcare providers. Most campuses likely have their own health centers that you can go to when you’re not feeling too well, but sometimes you need a little more care than that. This plays heavily into your health insurance because nowadays doctors and specialists will only take patients who are in their insurance circle and insurance providers will only cover certain doctors offices. Schedule a couple consultation appointments with doctors in your new area of residence to really explore your options. Health is most important, especially as a busy, stressed out college student or post-grad.

3. Change you cell phone provider.

You may have either been kicked off your parents plan because you’re a grown up now, your cell phone provider isn’t available, or the service is spotty where you’re going. T-Mobile is a great option for young students just starting out. You can get an individual plan for just $50 a month. That comes with unlimited talk, text and data in North America, but also in 120+ other countries in case you study abroad. And let’s be honest, a huge part of having a cell phone is music, right? This plan lets you use stream music on popular apps like Pandora, iHeart Radio, Spotify and Rhapsody without using your data. You wouldn’t have to worry about turning your data off so you don’t get charged. Winning!

4. Update your bank.

America doesn’t run on Dunkin’ just like Bank of America isn’t literally the bank of America. The bank or credit union you typically use at home might not be in your new state. Before officially heading over, research what other banks are over there that are most convenient and easily accessible. There is a possibility you might have to switch, unless you don’t mind paying the ridiculous bank fee of $2.50 or more. In addition, your account might be linked with your parents. Whatever bank you end up with, it might be a good idea to start handling your own finances and being responsible with your money.

5. Check your driver’s license.

Believe it or not, there have been people who moved to their new state to realize their license they retrieved a thousand miles away is about to expire. Make sure your license information is all up to date. If you plan on staying in your new state permanently and changing your address legally, you’re going to have to wait in the DMV line there to change it. Sorry.


6. Confirm your relationship status.

If you’ve been in a relationship, it’s pretty important to clear everything up before taking off. Will you guys stay together or will you take a break? Or will you just call things off completely? Make sure you guys are both OK with what you decide to do. That way, you have a clear idea of the boundaries you are and are not allowed to cross when you’re away from each other.


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7. Set a budget.

There are two kinds of budgets you should set here. A moving budget and an already there budget. Post-grads should always have a job set up before going anywhere. Figure out how much moving expenses will be. This includes gas, a trailer or moving truck, hotels for along the way, furniture and food. Make sure you have enough to cover that. Then, there’s living expenses once you’ve settled. This includes rent, utilities, groceries, phone bill, entertainment, and insurance (among other things, of course). Once you get your expenses in line, set limits on what you spend each month based on that.


8. Make sure you have a means of transportation.

It’s fun moving to a new state, but having absolutely no way to get around to explore once you’re there really isn’t. Will you be taking a car there? Cool, then you’re set. But if not, will you have to rely on the train or bus? If so, how much will that add to your monthly expenses? Will you be ubering it up? Walking? That can get expensive, and exhausting. It’s scary being in a new place, but feeling stranded in that new place is probably even scarier. Maybe you’ll spend the first semester at the mercy of your friends with cars while you save for a car of your own. Either way, have a plan.

9. Figure out how you will get you and your stuff there.

This is probably the most obvious, but it’s easy to make it an afterthought after the dorm shopping or apartment hunting and everything else you’re worried about. Make sure you plan your travel accordingly. Will you drive with a trailer attached? Are you going to rent a moving van or hire a moving company? Many people also buy all their stuff when they get there.  If you’re driving, plan the route you will travel. You can turn it into a little scenic road trip with a friend.

This is such an exciting time in your life. While there is so much to think about, and so much to prepare for, embrace it. It starts to become fun, and as the days go by faster, you’ll be glad you are as ready as you are!

*These are sponsored links. All opinions are my own.

Featured image source: and
Amanda Bridge

Amanda is a graduate of Emerson College with a degree in Journalism.

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