Ah, the summer before college.
Excited and eager to experience the “full freedom” that is college life, yet nervous about starting a whole new chapter in life. It’s normal to have mixed feelings. It’s okay if you feel overwhelmed!
For those who don’t know where to start, here’s a start:
Do these 10 things this summer to ensure that you get the first button right.
1. Contact your soon-to-be roommate (if you are dorming).
You’ll be spending quite some time with your roommate once school starts, so you might as well get to know them before school starts. Honestly, how awkward is it to meet someone for the first time and then sleep in the same room as them that same day? To avoid this awkward situation, you should at least talk to your roommate before the move-in day. The first step could be email (simply introduce yourself), and then maybe after a couple of back and forth you can add them on social media. But take caution: while social media can be a good way to learn about the other person’s interests, hobbies, and lifestyle, it’s never the whole story. So skim, don’t stalk!
And speaking of social media…
2. Clean up/organize your social media accounts.
- Remove any old, embarrassing posts that you don’t want your roommate to see.
- Make a LinkedIn account. You can find jobs/internships, network with professionals in any field, and much more. You might not use it all too much right away, but you’ll definitely see the use of it later on in your college life. (Speaking of which… you should begin your internship search NOW – trust me, it’s not too early!)
- Join the Facebook page and/or follow the Twitter account for your class and stay updated! Talk to people, ask questions, and make friends before you officially start college.
3. Make a list of things you need to buy for your college dorm.
It might be a good idea to list out everything you will need for college and start knocking them out before you get to college.
4. Register for classes.
Review (which means actually read through) the syllabus for each class to see if it’s something that you’d actually be interested in. Remember, this is college, where you actually pay for your classes– so only register for classes that you think are going to be worth your time, money, and effort! *You might also want to check the reputation of the professor before registering for a class, although you have to use your discretion with some of the reviews.*
5. Apply for scholarships.
Most colleges offer financial assistance of some sort, including university grants, but you can always apply for outside scholarships! But before you go ahead and start applying to scholarships, master these scholarship hacks first so you don’t waste time!
6. Look up textbooks for your classes.
+ Be warned: textbooks are expensive. However, there are good and bad times to buy textbooks, and TUN’s Textbook Search Engine will give you the cheapest options (new, used, or e-books) for your textbooks.
7. Research clubs and organizations offered by your school.
Be prepare to get involved! One thing that a lot of college grads express regret over is not being involved on campus. Joining clubs and organizations is a great way to make friends and build professional relationships.
8. Look into your school’s Study Abroad programs (highly recommended!).
Plan ahead: talk to your parents, do some research, and write down any questions you might have.
9. Pick up forgotten hobbies or learn new skills!
This may be picking up your guitar that’s been dusting in the corner of your room for years, vlogging, getting back in shape, or learning Photoshop or Excel. Let’s face it– you probably have more time now than you’ll ever have (sorry…) so make good use of it! Here are some free online classes you can take this summer, at the comfort of your own home.
10. Take it easy.
In college, most students work over the summer, and after you graduate from college, you’ll surely miss the big block of free time called summer vacation. So take advantage of it. Take a road trip with friends, go on a family vacation, and hang out with your high school friends before parting ways (even though you are probably going to get together for Thanksgiving break, Christmas break, New Year, and basically any major holidays or breaks)!