So you graduated high school and now you’re waiting for your college career to start. Summer is the perfect excuse to laze, lounge, and relax - especially on those sweltering hot days!
But you don’t plan on doing that all summer, do you?
No judgement if you do, but getting a head start and preparing for college during the summer is not a bad idea. Here’s a check list of 10 things you can do to prepare for college. You’ll save a lot of headaches in the future!
1. Apply for Scholarships
If you have to borrow student loans to pay for college, definitely apply to as many scholarships as you can. Every little bit counts! Whether it’s a $100 scholarship or a full-ride, you don’t want to miss out on what is essentially free money.
Get need-to-know tips on how to make a strong scholarship application through our past blog post. The key takeaways: only apply to scholarships that are relevant to you and make sure you write a compelling scholarship essay.
2. Research University Clubs and Organizations
The easiest way to make friends in college, especially for out-of-state students, is to join university clubs and organizations.
How do you find the perfect club for you? Many colleges and universities have club directories on their websites. Just a few minutes of research should get you a decent list of clubs that interest you. These directories should have the emails of club leaders as well. Send a quick email to them expressing your interest and asking about when the first meeting is.
Student involvement fairs are another great way to find clubs plus meet face-to-face with club members, so save the date for those!
3. Make a Dorm Move-In Checklist
Moving into college can be super stressful unless you prepare in advance! Make a check list to ensure that you have all the essentials and the unexpected essentials that you would have never though of bringing. Moving into a dorm does not mean that you need to bring every item that you own. You’ll only be there for one year, so pack somewhat lightly.
4. Get to Know Your Roommate
Unless you’ve chosen who you will live with, you will be assigned to a dorm with a random person. Eliminate surprises and add your future roommate as a friend on Facebook as soon as you learn their name. Message and get to know each other during the summer. Who knows? Maybe you’ll both have more in common that you thought!
5. Find a Summer Job
“Broke,” “college,” and “student” are three words that seem to fit together perfectly. Prep for all those college expenses (tuition, textbooks, meals, entertainment, pizza, etc.) by earning extra income during the summer. There’s no shame in working fast food, bussing tables, or mowing lawns. You’ll thank yourself later for working hard over summer.
Consider having a part-time job while you’re in college, too. College students gain many benefits from balancing those two responsibilities.
6. Check Your Health
Universities usually send out notifications saying what vaccinations their students are required to have. Over the summer, schedule an appointment with your doctor to get a physical and make sure you’ve had all the required shots. A healthy college student is a happy college student!
7. Research Your Textbook Options
Once you learn about what textbooks are required for your college classes, don’t jump the gun and automatically buy every book from your campus bookstore! Doing that will burn a hole in your wallet. If you want to get the best value, rent your textbooks if possible.
Try to find your textbooks online instead of the bookstore to save even more money. Ener the ISBN code of the textbook on textbookrentals.com to compare websites offering your book at the lowest price.
8. Expand Your Knowledge
College courses open up your mind to new concepts that change your perspective on the. It doesn’t hurt to stay sharp over the summer and learn new things that interest you. You can keep your brain in shape over the summer by reading books or watching documentaries.
Acting like a sponge and constantly learning new things is a great way to make yourself a more well-round person. Doing this will prepare yourself when you encounter new perspectives in college.
9. Challenge Yourself
Not only do you learn a lot in college, but you face a lot of challenges too! College courses are notoriously accelerated. Many college professors cover a new chapter every day. To prepare yourself for these new challenges, challenge yourself during summer. This tip is completely up for interpretation. If you’re a hands-on person, maybe you can restore an old car or build a bookcase. If that’s not your thing, try learning a new language or cooking a difficult recipe for the first time. The possibilities are endless!
10. Get Social
The college experience is all about getting social and making new friends. Try to look for Facebook groups made for your college class (ex: Woohoo University Class of 2019 Facebook Group). Getting to know the members of the group is a great way to make friends fast. Try making a post asking who else will be living in your dorm. Everyone is in the same freshman boat as you are, so you’re guaranteed to get a lot of responses!