Make the Most of the Summer Before College

As graduation quickly approaches take some time to consider your summer plans. While it is important to enjoy the warm weather and well-deserved free time, it is also essential that you prepare for the next big step in your life. Heading to college already prepared will help ensure that you have a smooth transition. This is the last summer you’ll have before embarking on your college career, so make the most out of it!

Visit all your favorite hometown places and people. College will be filled with classes, studying, extracurricular activities, parties and more. You might not make it back home as often as you think, so soak up all your favorite hometown activities and places now. Spend time with family and friends that are going to different schools, it might be awhile before you can have quality time again. Make sure to swap addresses, Skype account ids, and all other social media names so you can stay in touch easily!

Brush up on the classics and current events. Not only can classic movies and books be a great conversation starter, they will likely come up in some of your general education requirements. You will also spend time during college discussing current events and differing political, religious and economic views. Be prepared so you can contribute to the conversations and learn more about the world around you.

Bond with your future roommate.  Not only do you need to decide who’s bringing what, it’s a good idea to discuss schedules and other essential items for living together. Is one of you a light sleeper? How are you going to split cleaning? Talk about these issues now before they become a problem. By getting to know each other now you’ll feel more comfortable on move-in day and have hopefully already discovered a shared interest.

Learn to do your own laundry. College is your chance to be independent, and that includes the more boring aspects such as laundry. Figure out what items need to be dry cleaned, can’t go in the dryer and all the basics.

Finalize your budget and find ways to start building credit.  You may have already discovered some tweaking that will be required to afford all the college essentials. Go over everything one last time with a parent, counselor or mentor. Use the summer to stock up on as much funds as possible by working. Also, explore ways to start building your credit. While you may not be ready for a credit card, there are other options such as becoming an authorized user to one of your parent’s accounts or having a utility bill in your name.

Enjoy yourself. Take advantage of your free time to relax before this next big step. Use this time to try something new that you never had time to do before, such as a trip, volunteer project or recreational activity.

Research your future town and school’s offerings. Begin exploring what extracurricular activities you want to join on campus. Also look into what your college offers for student discounts and special opportunities for freshmen. Don’t forget to locate essential places in your new town such as: a local branch of your bank, grocery store, a gas station that has an air pump and more.  Attending college orientation during the summer is a great time to note these locations and where your classes are on campus.

Printed from the Iowa College Student Aid Commission website on December 11, 2017 at 12:06am.