June 29: Be wary of a cell phone signal drop

Let me tell you a horror story: During freshman year, my cell phone did not get reception in my dorm room. Scary, I know. And it wasn’t just my phone. My friends who shared the same service provider couldn’t get reception on half my floor unless we stood with our faces pressed against the screen window.

My service on the rest of campus wasn’t that bad, but for some reason, on that one floor, trying to get a bar was nearly impossible. But getting yourself cell-phone ready has two steps, and the first is making sure your provider has reliable reception in the area. Try www.cellreception.com, where you can search by zip code to locate cell phone towers.

It’s also important to find a plan that fits the needs of a college student. I’ve survived most of college on a plan that had free nights and weekends and unlimited texting but only 150 anytime minutes. Doable? Yes.

But know your own lifestyle before you commit to a plan that doesn’t match up with your hours or method of communication.