7 Things You Must Do The Summer Before College

The summer before college will be both exciting and stressful.  Many high school graduates will get jobs to help pay for some of their college expenses, while also trying to find time to prepare for college and hang out with friends.

In the midst of your hectic schedule, here are 7 things that you must do the summer before college.

1.  Have Fun! You’ve just accomplished something big…you’ve graduated from high school and have been accepted into college, so you deserve to celebrate and enjoy yourself.  Make sure you take time out of your busy schedule to have fun and hang out with your high school classmates, especially those who have chosen different colleges than you.

2.  Read Your Mail! The college you’ll be attending will likely send you a lot of “first-time student” information, like forms for special academic programs or activities, roommate preferences forms, housing paper work, medical and insurance documents, etc.  You should complete these forms and return them ASAP.  You want to try your best to avoid any problems come move-in day.

3.  Sign-up for Pre-Orientation. A lot of colleges offer pre-orientations.  You should sign up for these sessions if you don’t live too far away from the college you plan on attending.  These sessions are a great way to meet other new freshman.  However, be sure to sign-up early if you plan on attending because space if often limited.

4.  Confirm Your Financial Aid. At some point during the summer, you should contact the Financial Aid department at your school to confirm exactly what scholarships, work study programs, and other financial aid you’ll be receiving.  You likely received a letter in the mail with all of this information, but it definitely won’t hurt to confirm everything with the school before your move-in date. Also, now might be a good time for you to talk with your parents about your financial situation (if you haven’t done so already)…how much will they be contributing towards your college education?  how much will you be responsible for?  how much money do they expect you to spend on trips home and other college-related activities like movies, haircuts, etc.?

5.  Call Your Roommate ASAP. You should call your roommate as soon as you receive his or her name and contact information.  Yet another reason why you need to pay attention to and read your mail.  After the two of you get acquainted, then you can decide who’s going to bring what so that you don’t have duplicates.  You’ll probably only need one television, one television stand, one microwave, and one refrigerator.  So the both of you should decide who’s going to bring which of those items.

6.  Pack Your Stuff. Check out my dorm checklist for a complete listing of things you’ll need to take with you to campus.  Also, check out these videos to discover things you must have in your dorm room.

7.  Ship Your Stuff. Depending on what mode of transportation you use to get to college, you’ll need to determine how you’re going to get all of your stuff to your dorm room.  Some colleges make special arrangements with FedEx, UPS, or other transportation carriers.  Take some time to figure out if shipping some of your belongings ahead of time makes sense for you.

If you follow the 7 steps above, you’ll be more than ready to start your new college life!  Good luck.

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Lauren Anderson is a certified school counselor who's passionate about helping students all over the world successfully transition from high school to college! After spending 6 years as a business professional, she obtained her Master’s degree in School Counseling and now spends her spare time helping students.

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