6 Must-Dos for the Summer to Get Ready for College

What a milestone! You are done with high school and on your way to bigger and better things.

Whether you’re moving out of your parents’ house to head to college or you’re planning to commute to school, this is a big enough transition that deserves all the prep you need.

Leverage these top tips to help you transition into these next great years of your life.

1. Get to know your roommate

The Internet is a beautiful thing for making connections. Get in touch with your roommate and start chatting. Ideally, you’ll have a chance to meet up and pick out furniture together, but at least determine who will bring the mini-fridge.

2. (Re)connect with your passions

It’s going to be a while before you get to read for fun, so take this time while you have it. Perhaps more importantly though, many people consider college to be a sort of highway to self-determination, and you are already on the road. Begin forging your adult identity now and find out what matters to you. Read newspapers, try new things, or rekindle old hobbies and show up to college as “that girl who wind surfs,” or “the guy who reads Tolstoy … for fun.”

3. Get organized

Who’s in charge of your stuff when you get to college? Just you. Get a laptop if you don’t have one. Buy a planner to stay organized and to make sure you never miss a thing. Figure out the best way that helps you stay organized now so you won’t have to figure out later through the chaos of college life.

4. Earn some money

College is expensive; no ... really. And it’s not just the tuition. There are textbooks, parking permits, dorm furniture, food outside of the cafeteria, and a new wardrobe when you realize that everything in your closet is just too … high school. OK, so maybe a college hoodie will do the job too, but the point is that, as a full-grown, living-away-from-home adult, everything costs money, so you better start earning it now.

5. Find your support network

At some point, things are going to get tough. Evaluate your relationships now and nurture the ones that are important to you. Spend some time with your parents (they’ll miss you) and set up a call schedule. Decide if a long-distance romance is worth all the work, and see your high school friends a few more times before parting ways. Not all relationships last after high school, but the ones that do are the ones you take care of — and those are the ones that will take care of you, too.

6. Brush up on your life skills

Still unsure about how much detergent to use? Think of boiling noodles as your greatest culinary adventure? This summer is a perfect time to learn — and practice — all those little things that come in between you and total independence. Try your hand at cooking, cleaning, and doing laundry and basic maintenance on your car. Trust me, your future roommate will thank you.

(Check out Your Freshman Dorm Survival Guide for some hot tips on life in your new dorm!)


Jacobs, L., & Hyman, J. (2011, June 27). A Pre-College Summer To-Do List. The Choice: A Pre-College Summer To-Do List. Retrieved May 30, 2014, from The New York Times

Mulvey, K. (2013, June 10). 50 Things to Do the Summer Before You Go to College. Her Campus. Retrieved June 4, 2014, from Her Campus

Santo, O. (2014, May 2). 10 Things Every Incoming College Freshman Should Do This Summer. Generation SUNY. Retrieved May 30, 2014, from State University of New York

Thares, S. (2014, May 30). 6 Things High School Grads Need To Do Before Leaving For College. EDgov Blog. Retrieved May 30, 2014, from U.S. Department of Education