Even though Fourth of July fireworks are still fresh in our minds, most stores have already started advertising their Back to School sales. It might be hot and muggy outside, but fall is rapidly approaching. If you’re a recent high school graduate, college will be here before you know it!
Below you can find a list of 10 things to do during your last summer before college. In just a few short months, you’ll be in the midst of classes, term papers, and exams. Don’t let yourself look back and wonder what the heck you did all summer—make your last summer before college a good one!
If you’re going away to college, congratulations! Whether you’ll be an hour away from home or living across the country, it’s going to be an exciting experience. This summer, create a list of things you love to do in your hometown, or a list of things you’ve always wanted to do but never had the chance.
Go ahead and visit that museum or eat at that fancy restaurant during your last summer before college—after all, who knows when you’ll have the opportunity to do it again?
It’s an overused cliché, but going to college really does open new doors. If you’re going to have the world at your fingertips, do yourself a favor and conduct some research before you get to college—even if you have a potential college major (or majors) in mind.
Learn what classes are required to earn a degree in your hopeful field, and try to find out exactly what a particular career involves. Being a newscaster sounds like fun, but what’s it really like? Is being an elementary school teacher really all it’s cracked up to be? It’s a good idea to try to find out some answers now, before you spend time earning a degree you won’t ever use.
Considering the fact that you’ll be taking classes there this fall, you’ve probably already taken a campus tour. Even so, if you’re able to, visit your new school again during your last summer before college. Take another guided tour, or wander around and explore on your own (during daylight hours, of course!) This will be your home-away-from-home for the next few years, so get familiar with it before you arrive for classes. If you’re too far away, check out photos and maps on your college’s website. Many of them even offer virtual tours.
Facebook makes it easy to stay connected with just about anyone, but you might not get to see your best friends as often as you’d like, especially if you’ll be attending different schools. Be sure to spend some quality time with your high school friends during your last summer before college. You might not think so now, but you’ll be a changed person when you come home for Thanksgiving—and so will your friends.
Your entire wardrobe won’t fit in a dorm room closet, and the majority of colleges and universities have pretty strict rules regarding what you can and cannot bring to the residence hall with you. Find out what will be provided (a bed, desk, and chair will most likely be in the room when you get there) and figure out what you’ll need to pack. Creating a thorough packing list during your last summer before college is a lot easier than scurrying around with a suitcase the day before you have to leave.
If you’re going to have a roommate, your college probably gave you their name and some sort of contact information. Give them a call, send them an email, or friend them on Facebook, and after you’ve gotten to know one another somewhat, figure out who should bring what. You don’t want to wind up with two mini-fridges and no microwave!
The best things in life might be free, but being a college student is expensive. Yes, even if Mom and Dad are forking over whatever your financial aid didn’t cover. Your dorm and meals will probably be paid for somehow, but you’ll still need books and school supplies, day-to-day necessities like toothpaste and makeup, food for your dorm room, money for going out, clothes, and other incidentals.
If you have a job during your last summer before college, it’s in your best interest to start saving for the fall semester.
Coinciding with number 7 above, try your hardest to create a realistic budget. What do you have to buy on a regular basis? (Deodorant, stamps, shoes, anything that runs out or wears out quickly.) What are some big purchases that see in the future? (Laptop? New phone?)
Figuring out how much money you realistically need to survive is the easy part—sticking to that budget and somehow having enough money to do so is the hard part.
They might be driving you nuts right now, but spend some time with your family during your last summer before college. You’ll miss them when you least expect it.
If you’ve managed to tackle most of this list, congratulations! Now it’s time to have some fun and relax a bit before you head off to college—you’ll have a jam-packed calendar before you know it! Be sure to stop by www.StateUniversity.com for helpful tips whenever you have a question about college.
Melissa Rhone earned her Bachelor of Music in Education from the University of Tampa. She resides in the Tampa Bay area and enjoys writing about college, pop culture, and epilepsy awareness.
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