High school graduation is a life-changing moment. It marks a transition into adulthood, where many children move out of the house and become fully independent. Once the graduation festivities are over, summer will be in full swing, with college just around the corner. Now is the time to enjoy your friends and family, prepare for college life, and challenge yourself to learn new skills. Below, we’ve shared ten things to do the summer before college so that you can put your best foot forward!
Moving to a college dorm can be stressful – especially if you need to shop for essential items. We recommend creating a master shopping list at the start of summer and then adding to it throughout July and August. That way, when “back to school” sales come around, you’ll be ready to take advantage of the deals.
Most first-year college students will have one or two roommates, and we recommend getting in touch with them before orientation. By sending a brief email or Facebook message, you can break the ice and make sure you don’t bring multiple items (i.e., TVs, mini-fridges) to campus.
Depending on your GPA, income level, and family history, you may be eligible for thousands of scholarships online. By mid-summer, you’ll already have submitted your FAFSA and heard back about your financial aid situation. Keep in mind there are so many independent awards out there to help make college more affordable. Visit CollegeScholarships.org to start your scholarship search.
Many college students wait until their second or third year to get involved in a club or organization. We recommend researching clubs before you set foot on campus so that you have another social outlet. For example, if you’re interested in writing, you can get in touch with the school newspaper or literary magazine.
Summer is also the perfect time to find a part-time job and earn some disposable income. When college starts, you’ll be invited to go on weekend adventures with new friends, so it’s useful to have some money saved up.
If your college is in another state or country, you probably won’t be able to see family as often. We recommend going on a family trip before school starts. Try to spend as much quality time with parents and siblings as possible before leaving the nest.
When you’re living in the dorms, laundry becomes your responsibility. You can figure it out at the last minute, or you can ask your parents to give you a crash course before leaving home. We recommend doing the latter, so you don’t accidentally shrink your favorite shirts before the first day of class.
Most college campuses have brand-new gym facilities for students to enjoy, so take advantage of them! Before school starts, find a workout regimen that fits your lifestyle. For example, if you like running, you can set a weekly goal during the summer, and then keep it up during the school year. To avoid the Freshman 15, you’ll need to be proactive and get regular exercise.
Everyone is afraid of something, and now is the best time to face it. If you’re always terrified of dancing, you should enroll in a salsa class this summer. If you have serious stage fright, you should take a public speaking course. Jot down your biggest fears, and then create a plan of action to challenge yourself this summer.
Of course, the best things to do the summer before college have nothing to do with academia, adulthood, or ab workouts. We’re talking about old-fashioned rest and relaxation. Now is the time to curl up with a good book, hit the beach, and go on a road trip. With two-and-a-half months of free time, make sure you set some aside for fun.
Learn what to expect during your first year of college in this blog post!