Congratulations, it’s official; you’re a high school graduate! With graduation said and done, you may experience mixed emotions in the time leading up to your departure for college. You may feel enthusiastic about your next chapter, or you may be worried about leaving your support system. We compiled a list of things to do the summer before college so you feel prepared to tackle your new life.
Show gratitude to your support system
Think of all the people who supported you throughout your high school experience and college search. This may include parents, guardians, coaches, teachers, school counselors, or mentors. Be sure to let them know you appreciate their guidance and encouragement. Feel free to write thank you notes, or brainstorm other creative ways to express your gratitude.
Send your transcripts and other paperwork
If you need help sending your final high school transcript, contact your high school counselor. They will be happy to help! Additionally, fill out any other necessary paperwork related to financial aid or college enrollment. Visit your college’s website to learn more about the ways they handle this process. Most colleges will require students to create an account where you can submit and access all the information regarding tuition, housing, meal plans, financial aid, and more.
Make doctor’s appointments
Make an appointment for a checkup at your doctor. This is a great opportunity to make sure you are up-to-date with your immunizations since many colleges will ask for this information. It’s also a chance to fulfill any necessary prescriptions and assess your health insurance status.
Register for orientation
Make sure you are all signed up for orientation this summer, and that you are onboard with the requirements. There, you will likely register for classes, sneak a glimpse into dorm life, and attend events designed for you! If you’re on the fence about attending orientation, here are more reasons to visit.
Organize your finances
Have an open conversation with your parents about handling your college finances. Do you have a bank account set up? Some colleges offer the option of student IDs that act as debit cards, allowing students to deposit and withdraw money on campus. Keep in mind that these cards may only permit purchases at college facilities such as student centers and dining halls. Check your college’s website to learn more about their offerings, and how that plays into handling your finances.
Read a book for pleasure
Take advantage of your summer before college, and all the free time it offers. When your first semester at college begins, you may not have a spare moment to enjoy leisure reading. If you’re having trouble finding a book that interests you, check out your college’s website. Many colleges will recommend a book for all freshman to read. It may serve as an icebreaker at orientation or a discussion topic during your First-Year Experience class. In special cases, some colleges host the author, giving you the opportunity to hear them lecture!
Spend time with loved ones
Whether it’s your family, friends, or your pets, be sure to spend extra quality time with your loved ones. Go to your favorite sandwich shop, organize outdoor adventures with your friends, and savor the joy of dysfunctional family dinners. You’ll be surprised by the parts of home that you miss the most. Make plans to keep in touch by scheduling weekly FaceTime calls or exchanging addresses for snail mail.
Reflect in a journal
Write down some of your favorite memories, detail your dreams for the future, or describe your childhood. You may not see it now, but the summer before college is a special time in your life. Someday, you may want to look back on your teenage perspective of the world. (Or at least reminisce old times). Even if you’re hoping to leave high school behind, firmly in the past, reflecting in a journal can help you let go and focus on the future.
Check in on your mental health
Your mental health matters, so pause to check in with yourself. Are you burnt out? Which pressures and stressors are impacting your daily life? Depending on your situation and obligations, taking a break may look different for each person. Make sure you are dedicating time to relax and recharge, however that may look for you. Remember, mental health should not take the back seat for the sake of productivity. Here’s some more information about mental health resources.
All in all, we hope these ideas serve as helpful reminders during your summer before college. You can read more advice about college life here.