Updated: Jun 27, 2019
Here are my recommendations for the 4 BEST THINGS YOU CAN DO ON YOUR DAY BEFORE THE ACADEMY
The single best thing you can do is build your network. Go out of your way to find people in your class and why stop there? Go find people ahead of you and continue to find people who come in after you. Air Traffic Control is a team effort and the more of these bright individuals you can surround yourself with the better off you will be. Depending on your living situation you might be able to walk down a hallway or a street and find people with ease. I recommend setting up communication lines (getting phone numbers, shared file drives, and social media) from everyone you meet. The academy is a great way to connect with people in your industry.
Become familiar with the area. Drive around and look online for events and discount stores. While in the academy your pay will probably be dismal from what you're used to so it's nice to take the time to plan out the cheapest and most value given places for groceries, gas, and entertainment.
*Look for more on buying in bulk in the finance pages!
You have the option to arrive at the Security Command Center a day early to process your forms of identification. It's very quick and easy. Simple show up at the Mike Monroe facility and follow the signs for visitors. They are available from 0700-1530. Keep in mind that day 0 will require you to start earlier; 0645.
One way or another you will probably find some way to learn ahead of the academy start date. The reason I put this further along the list is that for the first couple of days, orientation will be your primary component and we've noticed that some students will study things far too ahead of their program and will end up forgetting it by the time they get around to it. However, I had to include it because it never hurts to give yourself a leg into the game. Just make sure that whatever you study has substance, and to make sure you do it with your colleagues. My recommendation is to make more of an effort towards material than maps. Memorizing the maps will prove better suited later down the line.