Whether you are planning to stay home or move away for college, the summer before your first year of college is oh-so important! Making the transition to college can seem like a nerve-wracking experience. Packing the summer before you head to college with fun and beneficial activities can really prepare you and ease some nerves. Okay so you are not kicking the bucket yet, but this special summer bucket list will help you make a smooth transition to a new and exciting phase of your life.
If you are just graduating high school, you have probably had a very stressful year trying to meet graduation requirements and applying to different colleges. Summer is the ideal time to kick up your feet and just breathe. Depending on how you plan your schedule, your new college life may not offer very much down-time. Pamper yourself, go for a swim and enjoy some fun in the sun while you can.
2. Find Your Inner Tourist
For those of you girls planning to leave home, taking in as much of your hometown as you can is a great idea. Take a week out of your summer to visit local parks, museums, attractions, historical sites or your favorite restaurants and stores. You may even discover things in your city you never knew existed! Taking a tour of the city you are moving to is also very important. Find places like your closest grocery store, the best local food, and the cheapest gas! Really getting to know your new home will help you feel more confident and comfortable.
3. Make Time for Family and Friends
If you are planning to leave town for college, it is important to spend the most of summer with family and friends before you take off. Make sure to make plenty of memories to fill in for the time you will be away. Even if you are attending college at home, it’s a great idea to spend as much time with family as possible. As you begin to study and get more involved as a college student, you may see less and less of your family. Take time to plan family outings, take lots of photos of your favorite people, take a road trip with your friends and get your fill of grandma’s cooking!
4. Explore Your Major
Right around now you are probably getting lots of input on what other people think you should study in college. It’s important to take time during the summer to figure out what it is that you really love to do; it might save you some stress! USA News reports that 80% of college students change their majors at least once. Getting to know your major and the classes you will be taking can really help you make the right choice about what you want to study. Interviewing people that have your dream job is also a fun thing to do during the summer. If you are an aspiring journalist, get in touch with a local newspaper journalist–they may have some great advice to offer.
If you are attending college in your hometown, the summer before you start is a great time to redecorate your room. You definitely want to make your room study-friendly. It is a good idea to invest in things like a desk, a lamp and maybe even a bookshelf. If you are moving into an apartment or dorm, the summer before you move is a wonderful time to try some DIY (do-it-yourself) crafts to make your new living space more comfortable and homey. DIY crafts are not only fun, they can really save you some money! Websites like HerCampus.com and TheCollegeJuice.com have some great ideas to get you started.
6. Grab a Campus Map
If you haven’t already taken a tour of the school you will be attending, the summer is a perfect time to do so. Even if you have taken a tour, you should still take a map of your campus and try walking around and finding your classes. Most college campuses may seem enormous compared to a high school. Taking some time to figure out quicker routes to your classes can really save you some time and energy!
7. Search For a Mentor
Reaching out to a mentor can easily be the smartest move you make during the summer. Upper-classmen or graduates have been in your shoes before and have plenty of wisdom to offer that can really benefit you. They may know where to get the best food on campus, which professor to take or not to take, and they may even let you borrow old notes or books. “Mentors help you set goals and encourage you along the way,” says Maria Librado, a third year student at The University of Texas at Austin. “Most importantly they hold you accountable for your goals because they want to see you succeed.”