Know Before You Go

Know Before You Go

It’s now less than a month until orientation! I get a phone call from my mom or sister just about every other day with more questions about orientation and getting ready for the school year. So I have decided to take the rest of you freshmen ducklings under my wing and impart some helpful tips and tricks that you probably want to know before you make the trek down to Ave!


To find your book list:

  • Log onto Self-Service:      
  • Go to the “Classes” tab, then “Schedule,” and then “Student Schedule”
  • When you click on each of your classes individually it shows a link that says “View Book Information.” 
  • If your professors have finished uploading their lists, it will show the books that are required for that class, you will probably want to check back again after August 13th, which is the final date when all books for all classes will be listed.

There are a couple ways that you can go about ordering books, you can compare and see what works best for your budget. 

  • Through the Ave Maria bookstore online: You can order or rent your books here, have them shipped to you or have them shipped to Ave for pickup at the campus store when you arrive, which is super convienient.
  • Amazon, Chegg, online, etc. Once you find your book lists and the ISBNs, you can search around to see if you can find some deals. Amazon’s renting program is pretty good–I’ve used that in the past. 
  • Also, sometimes you can find online PDF versions of your textbooks for free! So I would definitely suggest looking into that. 


Forewarning: I have a Macbook and I am definitely an Apple girl, so I am a bit biased on this subject, keep in mind however that in the end it’s based on your personal preference.

  • I have a 13” Macbook Pro and I find that it suits my needs perfectly. I have found that a good majority of students also have Macbook Pros.
    • I do know that Apple offers a student discount on Macbooks if you use your Ave email address (get in touch with IT for that at 239-280-2585 or
  • PC laptops and those fancy new-fangled tablet things do tend to be a bit cheaper, but sometimes are not as reliable as Macs.
  • Some professors let you use your laptop in class, and a couple actually prefer laptops to take notes on. So buy one that you can easily carry around and are comfortable typing on.


  • All students do get $5.00 of printing money to use on university printers and each page costs $0.10. You can always add more to your printing account or you can just use change if you run out.
  • However, if you want your own printer or find a good deal on one, it’s definitely nice to have one in your room–so you don’t have to worry about running to the library before class to print your paper or if you have a couple classes that require a lot of printing that would go over your $5.00


  • Microsoft Office: Ave offers Microsoft Office for our students at no cost (again get in touch with IT for details, see the laptop section for their contact info)
  • Firewall/antivirus: Our IT Department recommends Windows Defender for all you PCs out there, and it comes free with Windows–so your wallet will appreciate that!


  • If you’re flying to Ave from out of state, you are able to ship your belongings one week before arrival and pick them up when you get here. This way you don’t have to worry about having multiple carry-ons and maneuvering your baggage through the airport. You would simply address the boxes as follows:

Your Name

5050 Ave Maria Blvd.

Ave Maria, FL 34142

  • Remember, less is more! You will have to pack it all up at the end of the year, so keep that in mind (your future self will thank you)
  • During the year, we have Target and Walmart runs, so don’t worry if you forget to buy something during all the orientation craziness. Student life has shuttles available to drive the students into town to pick up anything you may need. 
  • Unless you’re going on the March for Life, fellow northerners, I would suggest leaving your heavy winter gear at home.
  • Some items that I would highly suggest investing in for your dorm room are:  
    • Bed risers: make room for more storage under your bed
    • Mattress topper: college mattresses aren’t always the comfiest, I’m a big fan of my memory foam mattress topper
    • Rug: It saves your feet from the cold tile floor in the morning and makes your room more homey
    • Command strips: to hang things on the walls, damage free

I’m looking forward to meeting you all at orientation, best of luck for the rest of your preparations, and safe travels!!