Top 10 Ways College-Bound Students Should Prep Over the Summer

Top 10 Ways College-Bound Students Should Prep Over the Summer

Congratulations, you graduated high school! Now it’s time to begin preparing for the next exciting chapter: college. This summer, it’s important to take some steps to prepare ahead of time for a smooth college transition.

Self-Care During Finals Season (And Why It Matters) Reading Top 10 Ways College-Bound Students Should Prep Over the Summer 6 minutes

By taking proactive steps to prepare for the transition to college over the summer, incoming college freshmen can set themselves up for a smooth and successful start to their college journey.

  1. Connect With Your Future Roommate

    If you'll be living on campus and have been assigned roommates, reach out to them over the summer to introduce yourself and discuss preferences for living arrangements. 

    You might already know your future roommate. In that case, it will be easy to connect and discuss details, like who is bringing what, so you don’t have duplicate items in your dorm room.

    But, if you haven’t met your future roommate, it’s good to reach out as soon as you have their information. Try to get to know them a little. You’re both embarking on a journey and having a buddy will come in handy.

    From there, work on coordinating shared space needs. Discuss who is bringing items to avoid duplication as you’ll be living in a small space. Coordinate essential items to bring for your dorm room, such as bedding, storage solutions, and shared appliances. 

    It can also be helpful to create a roommate agreement that outlines needs and boundaries so both of you are entering the living situation in a comfortable mindset with set expectations. 

  2. Complete Paperwork

    Take care of any administrative tasks required, such as submitting dorm/housing contracts, registering for classes on time so you have the best selection, and providing the school with things like health and immunization records. 

    Review important deadlines and requirements provided by the college admissions office or student services department to ensure you're fully prepared for the upcoming semester. 

  3. Brush Up on Essential Life Skills

    Use the summer to brush up on essential skills that will be valuable in college, in terms of both academics and lifestyle. Brush up on tools academic success such as time management, study techniques, organization strategies. Consider reading books or articles on college success tips, attending workshops or webinars, and practicing effective notetaking and exam preparation methods. 

    Make sure you’re prepared for success in terms of your college lifestyle too. Now is the time to learn how to do things like laundry, creating a budget, making your own bed, and cleaning your own space if you don’t already know how. You’d be surprised how many students lack experience in these tasks!

    Building these skills now can help you navigate the academic rigors of college more effectively and make a college freshman’s life a lot easier.

  4. Attend Orientation Programs

    Many colleges and universities offer orientation programs for incoming freshmen during the summer months. Attend these sessions to familiarize yourself with campus resources, academic requirements, and student life opportunities. Orientation programs often include campus tours, meetings with academic advisors, and information sessions on topics such as housing, meal plans, and campus safety. Going through orientation will give you a much better understanding of what to expect in the upcoming fall semester.

  5. Explore Campus Resources

    It’s helpful to research the various resources and support services available on campus, such as tutoring centers, writing labs, career services, and student organizations, ahead of time. Familiarize yourself with the locations and hours of operation for these resources so that you know where to turn for assistance when needed.

    Additionally, consider reaching out to current students or alumni for advice on making the most of your college experience and getting involved in campus life. Many colleges have programs that can pair you with a past or present student for guidance, but it is often by request only. They can give you invaluable inside information that they learned as a student.

  6. Spend Time with Family & Friends

    Heading to college is exciting and a big transition, in terms of lifestyle and relationships. Your friends are likely going to college as well and may not be local. Take the summer to prioritize connecting with your friends because it will never be the same once you start school. 

    The same goes for your family. It is possible that the summer is one of the last times you live at home full-time. Spend quality time making memories with your family. Your parents need this more than you know!

  7. Family Financial Discussions

    You’ve probably considered how you’re going to cover college tuition, but that’s not the only expense you’ll encounter in college. We recommend sitting down and having a family discussion around budgeting and contributions (other than tuition) for living expenses. Consider expenses such as textbooks, housing, food, transportation, and personal expenses.

  8. Banking

    Establishing a bank account with a local bank is a great safety net. They often have school-related credit union accounts for students. Familiarize yourself with online banking tools and resources offered by your bank or credit union.

    Along the same lines, consider opening a credit card for emergency purposes. It will also help you begin to establish good credit if you haven’t already. But only use it for emergencies! 

    By establishing good financial habits early on, you'll be better equipped to navigate the financial aspects of college life and avoid unnecessary stress.

  9. Consider a Summer Job

    It’s never a bad idea to earn a little extra spending money over the summer! It will come in handy more than you realize throughout the year because living away from home may come with expenses you didn’t anticipate.

  10. Pack Strategically

    As you prepare to move into your college dorm or apartment, make sure to pack strategically. Focus on bringing essential items that will help you settle into your new living space comfortably. Consider items such as bedding, towels, toiletries, clothing for different seasons, school supplies, electronics (e.g., laptop, phone, chargers), and any sentimental or decorative items that will make your space feel like home. Keep in mind the storage limitations of your living space and prioritize items that are practical and necessary for daily life.

Taking the above steps over the summer before college will help you begin your college journey prepared. Arrive prepared and ready to focus on what’s most important: academics, making new and lasting friendships and exploring your newfound freedom!  

Leave a comment

All comments are moderated before being published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.