Top 10 Things You Should Do the Summer Before College
August 17, 2018
By: Kelly Spors
You’ve finished high school—congrats!—and now you’re heading to college. While the summer before college is a chance to unwind and celebrate your achievement, it’s also a great time to prepare for the busy academic year ahead.
Here are some key things to do the summer before college begins:
1. Take a memorable family vacation
You probably won’t have much time for relaxation once school starts, and you may be moving away from your family to a new city or state. Seriously consider taking a special trip to bond with your loved ones before summer’s end.
2. Apply for scholarships
Financial aid can help you cover the hefty costs of higher education, and reduce your reliance on student loans. There are all types of scholarships out there—some national and some local. And you don’t always have to be an academic all-star to qualify. Even if you’ve missed the deadline for scholarships this fall semester, you can apply for spring semester or next year’s scholarships.
3. Organize your finances
Tuition and other living expenses during college can be overwhelming. The good news is that you can prepare yourself financially to deal with these costs. To start, you can review your bank account and other financial accounts to ensure you have the financial resources and access you need to pay for any necessary costs.
4. Spend time with your high school friends
Chances are, you made some lifelong friends during high school. In your rush to get ready for college, make sure to get in some quality time with your high school crew. Road trip, anyone?
5. Register for classes
Needless to say, you’ll need to enroll in courses for fall. You can keep your college’s academic calendar in a handy place so you don’t miss key deadlines—like course registration. Once you’re registered, you can create a daily schedule so that you will be able to successfully manage your time.
6. Find out what textbooks you’ll need
You’ll generally want to have any required course materials, including textbooks and other supplies, ready to go on the first or second day of class. Be on the lookout for any email or other advanced notice of what you’ll need.
7. Meet your new roommate
Living on campus? One of the most exciting parts of that experience is meeting your freshman roommate. The college will generally send your roommate’s name and contact information at least a few weeks before school begins. You can take the time to reach out and introduce yourself—and perhaps even discuss some key living arrangements (like deciding who will supply the coffee maker and perhaps creating a short list of dorm-room rules.)
8. Get some furnishings and supplies
You’ll want to make sure you have all the essentials you’ll need for your first year of college—whether that’s school supplies such as laptops, notebooks and folders or furnishings for your dorm room such as an ergonomic desk chair or a TV. Make a list of what to buy before college, so you can have everything purchased come fall semester.
9. Visit your doctor and dentist
You may still be on a parent’s health insurance and have a family doctor and dentist you prefer to see. Whether you’re going away for college or staying in your hometown, you may not have time for checkups with your key medical and dental providers once the college year begins. So the summer before college is a great time to schedule these appointments.
10. Create a music playlist
You’ll need to concentrate on your coursework and studying once college begins. Having a playlist of music ready to listen to—so you can drown out background noise and really focus—can be helpful. You can create playlists on music services such as Spotify or Amazon Music that you can easily access from a laptop, smartphone or other personal devices. Be sure to get yourself a pair of noise-cancelling headphones to occasionally tune out the many distractions of a bustling college campus!
The summer before college begins is an exciting time. Making sure you’re living life to the fullest—and getting ready for the big changes ahead.
About the Author
Kelly Spors is a freelance writer and editor based in Minneapolis. She previously worked as a staff reporter for The Wall Street Journal, covering small business and entrepreneurship.
All content provided herein is for educational purposes only. It is provided “as is” and neither the author nor Office Depot, Inc. warrant the accuracy of the information provided, nor do they assume any responsibility for errors, omissions or contrary interpretation of the subject matter herein.
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