As the summer before college approaches, many students worldwide eagerly prepare for the exciting journey ahead. However, with so much to think about – from dorm room supplies to new roommates – it is easy for important tasks to slip through the cracks.
To ensure a smooth transition into freshman year, we’ve compiled a list of 10 essential things to do the summer before college. These include researching financial aid options establishing relationships with professors, and obtaining necessary immunizations.
Starting college can be an exciting yet daunting experience for students. With new responsibilities and challenges ahead, it’s essential to come prepared. The summer before college is crucial for students to prepare for the upcoming academic challenges and explore their interests and passions.
In this article, we have put together a summer before college checklist of ten important things every student should do!
1. Attend Orientation
Don’t know what to do the summer before college? Attending orientation is the first step towards acclimating to life as a college student. Most colleges offer comprehensive orientation programs designed solely for incoming freshmen, ranging from campus tours to meeting peers and signing up for classes.
For example, many colleges offer online orientation sessions where students can virtually get to know the campus before arriving. Others host virtual events with faculty and staff, allowing students to get to know their new home.
2. Review Financial Aid and Scholarships
Before starting your academic journey in college, it’s important to clarify how you will finance your education. You should revisit the financial aid package you received and ensure that all grants and scholarships are in place.
You may also want to explore additional scholarship and grant opportunities to reduce the college’s financial burden. Starting your search early is best, as many awards have strict deadlines.
3. Set Up a Budget
College life can get hectic, especially when it comes to managing finances. However, setting up a budget is one of the most important things to do summer before college to prevent debt accumulation while developing good financial habits.
You can use online tools or apps like Mint or Clarity Money to track expenses and create a budget that works for you. These tools allow you to set spending limits, monitor expenses, and even access a customized financial plan.
4. Look For Part-Time Jobs on Campus
One of the best ways to cover some of your costs is by looking for part-time jobs on campus during the summer before college begins. Not only will this give you additional income, but it will also help you build job skills as well as connections within the campus community.
For instance, many colleges offer work-study or research assistant positions to students who meet certain criteria. You can also contact the college’s career services office to explore opportunities.
5. Connect With Your Roommate
It’s always best to get started early with building a relationship with your roommate if possible. Reach out through social media or email if possible so that both of you can discuss living situations & preferences like dorm room organization or splitting living expenses such as groceries, etc.
It will make the move-in day much smoother when everyone has already met virtually beforehand! So, don’t forget to connect with your future roomie!
6. Learn Time Management Techniques
College life encompasses multiple tasks, such as studying, socializing, and extracurricular activities. Efficient time management skills can help you balance all these tasks effectively without sacrificing much-needed downtime.
Start by creating a daily schedule incorporating your priorities and attend workshops, if available, to learn new techniques.
For example, many students use the Pomodoro technique, a popular time management system. It means breaking tasks into 25-minute intervals with brief 5-minute breaks in between. By using this method, you can ensure that all your tasks are completed within a specified timeline.
7. Brush Up On Academic Skills
In college, the curriculum is rigorous and more advanced than in high school in many cases. Therefore, it’s important to brush up on academic skills like writing and reading before starting your classes in order to excel throughout the semester.
Try reading academic journals and taking free online courses offered by various universities. Don’t forget to take advantage of the resources available on campus, such as tutoring if needed.
8. Explore Your Interests
College is not just about academics. It offers an array of opportunities for students to explore their interests outside of the classroom too!
The summer before college starts ample opportunity to explore new hobbies or interests before jumping into campus communities or clubs once school starts.
9. Check Required Reading Lists
Most colleges provide a list of required readings for incoming first-year students, also referred to as pre-reading material on specific topics/fields will help ensure you don’t get overwhelmed after classes have started!
This gives students a chance to get familiar with class content & mentally prepare for what they will be learning throughout the semester. So, check them out and get a head-start before move-in day.
10. Purchase Essentials Before Move-In Day
Before the move-in day arrives, its best recommended that you purchase essential supplies & dorm room equipment essential for your stay. This includes items like bed sheets, pillows, towels, etc.
Nowadays, various stores offer pre-packaged dorm sets with everything required at discounted rates! You can also contact the college to find out what other items are needed.
Having these supplies ready before the move-in day can help make your transition smoother & save you time and effort.
What to do summer before college? From attending orientation sessions & reviewing financial aid plans/scholarship opportunities down to reaching out & getting acquainted with roommates socially, there are several steps students can take to make their freshman year a success.
By focusing on developing time-management skills, brushing up on academic skills, exploring interests & hobbies, and identifying budget-friendly solutions for campus living, you’ll be well-prepared for the upcoming semester.
Start early, set achievable goals, and enjoy the journey! Best of luck! 🤞🏻