Why The Summer Before College Is So Important
If you’re looking for a post on what specific things you need to do to get your college schedule in place, make friends with your future roommate, or a friendly reminder to attend orientation, this isn’t it. Those things are important, but there are tons of lists already online about what to do to get ready for your first day.
There are some things you can do this summer that will absolutely make your life better as you head off to college in the fall…
5 Things You Need to Do the Summer Before College
1. CLEAN YOUR ROOM: Don’t skip over this one! The kind of cleaning I’m talking about is more of a decluttering, rather than scrubbing (although you might need to do that too). It’s time to organize, purge, donate…whatever you have to do to minimize your junk. You’re an adult now. Adults take stock of their living space from time to time. When you come home for Christmas break, you can hang out with your friends rather than spend time rummaging through the junk in your closet looking for your burrito blanket.
2. THANK YOUR FAMILY: No man is an island, according to John Donne. We only reach great place with the help of our family, friends, teachers, and community. Why not host a nice dinner for your parents and family (even if it’s microwave hot dogs or ordering a pizza), and toast them for the years of support that led to your opportunity to pursue college? You’ll inevitably walk away from the evening with a very appreciative family and memories that will last for years to come!
3. SPEND QUALITY TIME WITH YOUR FRIENDS: This might seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how quickly people start shipping off to their chosen school. Schedule time, both in groups and one-on-one with your buddies to hang out this summer. If everyone works, you may have to get creative and schedule an early morning breakfast or workout together, or take in a midnight movie. Even if it’s tough to squeeze it in, you’ll never regret the decision to make time for a good friend.
4. GET CLOSURE: This may not be possible in every single situation, but I’m listing it here for you to at least ponder. Do you have unresolved relationships with anyone? I’m talking an old teacher, a neighbor, co-worker, boss, parent, sister, ex, anyone? If it is possible to mend the relationship, I urge you to do so before leaving for school. College puts a hefty level of stress on you, trust me! The last thing you need is distracted over a nagging problem you could have settled over the summer. Not everything can be easily resolved, so if it’s something like an unhealthy former partner that wouldn’t be good to invite back into your life, or a deceased relative you can’t apologize to, then consider writing a letter that you never plan to send. The mere act of writing your feelings down is proven to release negative feelings in a significant way. Word to the wise: Rip it up when you’re done if the information is sensitive.
5. COMPLETE A PERSONAL ASSESSMENT: There are plenty of these online, or you can make your own. Basically, you look at the following three things. 1. What am I doing right? 2. What am I doing wrong? 3. What steps can I take to improve my life moving forward? Some assessments get pretty detailed, but the goal is to take stock in how you’ve been living, and what you can do to move into the future with the best footing.
Whatever you do with the rest of your summer, take time to appreciate every moment! This is your last summer before college! Oh, and make sure you attend that orientation when it comes around!