If you’ve recently graduated from high school and are starting college in the fall, the intervening summer months can sometimes seem excruciatingly long. All your old friends are still around, and everyone is excited and nervous about going their separate ways, at least for the coming school year. While it may seem like it’s taking forever, the summer before your first year of college will go by in a flash, and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself in a new environment with new people and new opportunities.
The transition to college can be difficult for any incoming freshman, but especially so if you haven’t taken some steps to prepare yourself for a new life in a new setting. The summer before college is your perfect opportunity to make sure that you’re in the best possible position to be successful in school, make new friends, and prepare yourself for the real world.
Preparing for the move to college can be more time consuming and stressful than you might expect. If this is your first time living on your own, there are probably a lot of things around the house that you use but probably don’t buy for yourself on a regular basis. When you’re at college, you’ll be responsible for providing the basic necessities which you may have taken for granted at home. When’s the last time you bought laundry detergent? Or dryer sheets? How about toothpaste, or shampoo? If the answer is “yesterday,” then you’re already a step ahead; if not, keep those kinds of things in mind when preparing for the move to school.
Take some time during the summer to notice and jot down all the little things that you use at home and will need when you get to school. This way, when it comes time to start purchasing things for your new dorm or apartment, you’ll have an easy reference for what you will need; you can even start buying things weeks or months before you leave to avoid the rush at the end of summer. It’s just about impossible not to forget something, but noticing what you use around the house can save time and money when you do finally get to school.
It may sound corny, but college really is an opportunity to reintroduce yourself to world and begin to chart your own course in life. Take some time during the summer to consider what you hope to get out of college, both socially and academically. You don’t have to forget about your old friends from high school; just keep in mind that, with the exception of those going to your same school, you’ll need to be ready to develop new friendships and relationships with others at your school.
Don’t let this summer go to waste. These months will be filled with excitement and nostalgia, but make sure not to leave your planning for college until the very last minute.