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8 Things to Do the Summer Before College

students headed to do some planning before college

You’ve graduated high school, been accepted to college, and maybe even managed to fit in a little fun and make a little money this summer. With the start of the school year around the corner, now is the time to knock out some prep work.

The summer before college is an important time. In addition to hanging out with your friends and family, you’ll need to get some practical tasks out of the way before you head off to school.

Here are eight things everyone should do the summer before college.

Clean Out Your Closet

As fall approaches, you’ll be packing your clothes into suitcases (or garbage bags) to take to college. Before you pack, clean out your closet to remove items that don’t fit anymore. Donate them to a local Goodwill or shelter.

Packing is easier when you’re looking at a clean and organized closet. An organized closet will also make it easy to see what clothing items you’ll need to purchase before you head out.

Friend Your Roommate

You don’t need to become best friends with your roommate the summer before college (or even once you get to college). Friending your roommate on social media, however, can help ease the transition into living together.

Once you’re friends, shoot a few messages back and forth to get to know each other a little. You can coordinate on who is bringing what for the dorm, as well as start important conversations about lifestyle and expectations.

Polish Up Your Resume

Even if you don’t plan to apply for a job or internship right when you get to college, having your resume polished and ready to go can’t hurt in case you do find an opportunity you’re interested in. At the very least, polishing your resume will teach you a necessary skill that you’ll use time and time again.

Go to the Doctor

Some colleges and universities require you to visit a doctor to get certain vaccinations before you arrive on campus. Even if your college doesn’t, you should still make an appointment to go to the doctor and get yourself checked out. Make sure you get your shots, as well as fill up on all the prescriptions you’ll need for the upcoming semester.

Shop for Dorm Room Essentials

You’ll need a lot of stuff to go to college, everything from a laundry basket to a computer. Shopping for your dorm room essentials can be exhausting. To ease the process and ensure you don’t forget anything, do your shopping in stages.

Make lists of what you’ll need: for class, for your dorm room, for work, etc. Once you’ve made your purchases, keep them organized in a specific area of your house, so you can pack them efficiently when you’re ready to go.

Register for Classes (Save the Textbooks for Later, Though)

Many colleges and universities allow you to register for classes before you get on campus. The earlier you register, the greater the chance you’ll get into all the classes you want.

Most schools have an “add and drop” period during the first few weeks of class. During these weeks, you can add and drop classes to your schedule. It’s kind of like shopping: You can attend classes and see if you like them. If you do, keep them on your schedule. If you don’t (and you don’t have to take that class to fulfill a requirement), you can always drop it from your course load.

Because of the add and drop period, you can register for classes early, but holding off on buying your textbooks until you’ve solidified your schedule is a good idea.

Set Up Your Bank Account

If you’ve been using a local bank account (or have been operating without a bank account), you’ll need to set up a new account in the city or town where your college is. In many places, you can open a bank account with as little as $25. There can be a delay in between when you open your account and when you receive needed materials, like your debit card or checkbook. Make sure you take action with plenty of time to get access to your money when you’ll need it.

Do Some Research on Your New Home

Before you head to college, do some research both on the school itself and the town or city it’s in. Make a list of things you want to try and sights you want to see. This research will help you feel more familiar with your new surroundings and can ease feelings of homesickness as you embark on this adventure.

These tasks will keep you busy (shopping, especially), but make sure you leave time for fun in the summer before college, too. The memories you make with your high school friends and family can last a lifetime.

Hayley Milliman Hayley Milliman
Hayley is a former Teach for America teacher turned curriculum developer and writer. Over the past five years, she's written hundreds of articles on everything from education to personal finance to history. She's co-author of the book  Females. Read Full Bio »
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