Checklist: Summertime College Prep

Checklist: Summertime College Prep (Volodymyr Hryshchenko via Unsplash)

The first day of school is right around the corner and preparing for this major lifestyle transition is important to your future success — especially if you are a first-time college freshman! 

While there are many activities to participate in during the summer months, as a college student, you should always be proactive in your academic success. Here are some things to consider as you plan.

Visit your campus

If you haven’t toured your college campus yet, now is the time to check out where you will be studying and possibly living, if it is a feasible option for you. Many institutions offer guided tours throughout the summer.

Familiarizing yourself with the campus, dining options and classroom buildings can also help ease some of the stress on your first day of school. 

Earn money

College costs are typically expensive. Even with scholarships and financial aid, there are a plethora of expenses to consider as you begin this new chapter. Freelancing, babysitting or taking on part-time work of any kind can all contribute to earning money your college needs.

Hosting a yard sale is another way to make money. Big life changes are an excellent opportunity to organize, sort and purge possessions you may no longer require.

Clean out your closet space

To prepare for college, it’s a good idea to go through your belongings and get rid of anything you don’t need. Spend a summer weekend going through your closets and deep cleaning your space. If you’re going to live in a dorm, you should think about how to downsize, organize, and limit what you have.

Donating and selling unnecessary items can be a productive way to get rid of these items rather than completely discarding them. Attachments to certain items do exist, but keep in mind that you cannot bring everything with you to college.

Register for classes and speak with an academic advisor 

Summer is an excellent time to meet with an advisor to discuss your plans for the upcoming school year and years toward graduation as well as register for classes. You’ll also have a better chance of getting into the classes you want before they fill up completely. 

Connect with your roommate(s)

If you’re heading for dorm life after the summer, it’s a good idea to connect with your future roommate. This could entail making a phone call to discuss how your shared space will look and feel.

The more comfortable you are with your roommate before school begins, the smoother your college transition will be.

Check your school’s social media accounts 

This is a great way to stay connected to what’s happening on campus. You can find information about upcoming events, organizations that you may want to join and other news pertaining to you as a student! Through various platforms, you may be able to meet other students in your graduating class that are similar to you.

Spend time with loved ones

Summer may be your last chance to spend time with friends and family before school starts. Even if you aren’t traveling far from home, you will most likely be much busier. Take some time before classes to visit your favorite local spots with your loved ones. 

This is also an excellent time to establish your college support network. Having friends and family to lean on when you’re homesick or feeling particularly challenged during your college career can go a long way toward improving your mental health.

Mental health matters

College students can easily become overwhelmed. There is a lot of pressure to succeed at all times. Do your research and make a list of campus resources you can turn to if you are feeling lonely, stressed, sick or all of the above.

Summer is the best time to set goals and establish a routine that you can always adjust to when the transition to college occurs. Make time to socialize and have fun, but don’t neglect your efforts to stay healthy. When your health declines, so do your grades, which can be a recipe for disaster.

Ask for help

College students frequently believe that they must prove themselves and be self-sufficient. Though these are admirable qualities, they can also work against your detriment if you don’t know how to manage your lifestyle. It’s important that students develop the awareness to recognize an issue before it gets out of control, and utilize the appropriate resources.

Asking for help is not a sign of weakness; it is a sign of strength. As a result, asking for help contributes to student success. You can seek support from loved ones if necessary, but remember you will know what is best for you and when you need to make an adjustment.

For any young adult, starting college can be an exhilarating and rewarding experience. You can’t plan for everything that may occur during your college career, but preparation can give you the tools to manage life’s transitions while obtaining your degree.

Trinity Alicia (she/her/hers) is a Boston-based journalist. Follow her on Twitter: @trinityaliciaa

Edited by NaTyshca Pickett

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