You’ve finally graduated, and the only thing that stands between you and your first semester at college is summer vacation. With such a huge milestone looming ahead, now is the time to do some heavy-duty prep work. Preparing for college during the summer will ensure you make the transition with ease.
There is a lot to do to get ready for the fantastic experience ahead of you, but you also want to spend your last summer having some fun. There is no reason why you can’t have the best of both worlds. By utilizing some of the tips we have prepared, you can make sure you are ahead of the game while still enjoying a little rest and relaxation.
1. Get Your Stuff Organized
You are about to move into a small space with someone else for a while, and it’s possible they won’t appreciate your stuffed animal collection or your 11 bins of shoes. Not to mention they won’t fit anyhow. Now is a great time to weed out things you no longer need. Your parents will likely appreciate the gesture too. If there are sentimental items you absolutely can’t part with, box them up neatly for storage. The things you no longer need or want can be donated or better yet, have a yard sale, or list them on eBay. If you aren’t working this summer, this would be the perfect way to accumulate a little pocket change.
2. Get a Part-Time Job and Set up a Budget
Speaking of pocket change, you are probably going to need a few items for school. Textbooks, warm winter gear, and some new towels come to mind. Unless you are independently wealthy, a part-time job could come in really handy. Going off to school with a little cash in the bank doesn’t hurt either.
If you are going to need a part-time job during school, start researching what is available near campus and check out local job boards or the college website.
You will also want to take some time to sit down with your parents and prepare a budget. You should make sure you understand what expenses they will be covering and which ones you need to be responsible for.
3. Shop for Any Last-Minute Items
You will likely need a few things before the semester begins. Don’t forget regular school supplies like pens, notebooks, folders, and binders. You also might want some handy storage items for your dorm room such as bins, caddies, and other organizing solutions. If you need basics like new socks and underwear, get them now to avoid higher prices close to campus. Afraid of running out of your favorite body wash or hair gel? Pick up a couple of bottles so you are stocked up.
4. Do Your Favorite Things
After this summer, things will never be the same. Take some time to say goodbye to your favorite people and places properly. Visit that coffee shop you and your best friend used to meet at every Wednesday. Take a walk in the park to feed the ducks you love so much. Stay home on a Sunday and enjoy a barbecue and game night with your family. You will appreciate it later, we promise.
5. Explore Your New Town
Embarking on a new adventure is what college is all about, and now is the perfect time to get to know the place you will be calling home for the next few years. Check out the local restaurants, theaters, and entertainment venues. Do some research on Google maps to identify landmarks and places of interest as well as attractions worth looking into. If you are the outdoorsy type, find out about state parks and hiking trails in the area. Familiarizing yourself with your new locale is a great way to build even more excitement for what lies ahead.
6. Get to Know Your Roommate
Unless you already know your new roomie, scheduling a meet and greet is a good idea. After all, you will be spending a lot of time in close quarters with this person, so making sure you are compatible can set both your minds at ease. They are probably as cool as you are, but let’s face it, even the most delightful people are only human. Reach out on social media and set a time for a phone call to get to know each other. No matter how it goes, you will have a better idea of what to expect.
7. Take Care of Your Medical Needs
While you are still at home, schedule a checkup with your doctor to get up to date on your vaccinations and make sure you are in tip-top shape. If you need prescriptions, get them refilled and make sure you have them transferred to a pharmacy near campus. Now is the time to have a dental cleaning and an eye exam too.
8. Clean up Your Social Media Accounts
Log into each of your Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram accounts and ax anything you have posted that is questionable, embarrassing, or otherwise stupid. You don’t need to erase your personality but think about what a future professor or employer might find distasteful and get rid of it. Remember that everything you put into the digital world remains there for all to see, so clean up your act while you have a chance to take a walk through your social media past.
9. Register for Your Classes
Reach out to your advisor and discuss how to choose the best courses for your interests and the requirements of your major. Find out the earliest date you can register and get in before the best classes are all filled up. If you attend an orientation midsummer, you can also register in person.
10. Get Your Textbooks
Do you really want to stand in line at the campus bookstore when you have so many other exciting stuff to do? Get a jump on things by purchasing your textbooks online as soon as you have your list of required reading for each class. There are plenty of websites where you can buy or even rent used textbooks, and your wallet will thank you.
11. Make Sure Your Tech Is Ready to Roll
Once classes begin, you won’t have a lot of time to update or upgrade your digital gadgets. The last thing you want is to see the black screen of death the day before an essay is due. Make sure your computer is up to date with anti-virus software and remove all the old apps and photos you don’t need. You may even want to take it somewhere to have it cleaned up. If your computer is sluggish, consider purchasing a new laptop. Make sure you figure out how to use it, so you aren’t spending valuable study time trying to learn a new operating system once you arrive at school.
The same goes for your cellphone, which will serve as a lifeline between you and home. Make sure your wireless bill is paid up, and you have your emergency contact numbers programmed in. Oh, and don’t forget to pack your chargers and accessories for all your digital belongings.
12. Start Managing Your Time Diligently
One of the most overwhelming tasks for new college students is time management. After years of having your schedule led by parents and teachers, the freedom to “set your own hours” can backfire quickly. Work on setting up a system now by getting a planner or downloading a time management app. Then, use it every day. Practice getting up early, going to bed at a decent hour, and showing up on time to all of your commitments. The more you practice discipline and punctuality, the easier it will be to manage the many tasks and activities you have ahead of you at school
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