Summer officially starts this weekend. If you are starting college in the fall, now is a good time to think about how you are going to spend your last summer before college starts.
Some high school graduates might look at this time as a "last hurrah" before adulthood sets in. Others may look at it as the beginning of a new exciting chapter in their personal journeys.
Regardless of how you feel about it, there are definitely some great ways to spend your time this summer to prepare for your first year at college.
Don't worry, it's not all work -- there will definitely be time for some fun, too!
10 Must-Dos Before College Starts
First, we'll tackle the boring (but necessary) things that your parents will thank you for.
1. Clean out your bedroom and closet. If you are going away to college, this is a great way to take inventory of what you have for your dorm room and what you need to get to be ready. Check out: The ultimate list of Dorm Room Essentials for your first year at college!
If you are staying at home and commuting, this is still a great thing to do. It will get you organized and prepared for a different kind of schedule. Either way, you may also find things you don't need anymore that you can sell and put some extra cash in your pocket.
2. Inventory Your Clothes. Go through your wardrobe and make a list of anything you are missing that you need for college. If you will be attending college in an area with a vastly different climate than your hometown, you might need a few items. Make sure you have a couple professional outfits, comfy lounge clothes and appropriate pajamas--most likely you will have at least one roommate. Don't forget to get logo gear from your new college. This is also a great time to sell or donate items you don't want anymore.
3. Organize your Computer. Start purging the 1000s of spam emails, create folders for important correspondences, organize your college documents, etc. In addition, make sure you have the most updated versions of your applications, download programs you will need in college, and ensure you have a good security program on your computer. You may find yourself studying in various locations on different WiFi connections in college, and you don't want a virus!
4. Clean up your social media. If you haven't yet started applying for colleges, this should be a huge part of the process. Social Media provides colleges, employers, your parents and grandma with a way to check up on you and see what you are doing. A good rule of thumb for your social media is if you wouldn't want your grandma or your pastor to see it, don't put it on social media. Oh, and if you haven't already--set up a LinkedIn account. You are an adult now and this is a good step toward your future career.
5. See your doctor. This is a good time to get check-up, ask any questions you have, make plans for medication refills, create a back up plan for health care away from home, etc. Be sure you make note of your doctor's address, phone number, and other contact info. Talk with him or her about the best ways to handle health issues that may come up while you are away at college.
6. Register for classes and buy your books. Make sure you register for your college classes as soon as you can to ensure you get what you want. You might be surprised how expensive college text books can be. Research used books and e-book options.
7. Connect with your new college roommate. As soon as you find out who your new roommate is, give him or her a call. Connect with them on social media. Coordinate items for your new room. If you don't live too far away, plan to meet up. Ask each other questions like:
- Are you a morning person or an evening person?
- Messy or neat?
- What are you study habits?
- What kind of music to do you like?
- What are planning to bring to college for the dorm room?
- What are you favorite types of foods?
You are going to live with this person for at least a year, so the more you can find out, the more prepared you can be.
8. Spend time at your favorite places in your hometown. Typically, college students who go away to college don't come home until Thanksgiving or Christmas break. You may start to feel homesick or miss your favorite diner or hangout spot. To help with this, frequent your favorite spots and things to do the summer before college starts.
9. Spend time with friends. One of the hardest things about starting college is that so many of your friends are doing the same thing at other colleges. You will miss each other. Make it a point to spend time with them. Take a road trip together. Visit each other's college campuses. Have sleep overs.
10. Spend time with your family. I know it may not seem like it now, but in a few months you might really find yourself missing home and family. Make it a point to spend quality time with your mom and dad, siblings, and other important members of your family--even your pets.
Moving away from home for college is a huge deal. It is very exciting but it can be scary and sometimes lonely too. Make the most of the time you have before you go. Let us know what you have planned for this summer!
Still Deciding On a College?
If you've not yet selected a college for the fall, it's not too late. See the difference Great Lakes Christian College can make by calling 1-800-YES-GLCC or scheduling a personal visit.
Better yet, apply today and get started on your future!
This article was originally published in 2018 and has been recently updated.