Make This Summer Count

The summer before you start college will be a memorable one and certainly a busy one. You’ll have fun relaxing and spending time with loved ones. However, it should also be used to carefully plan the next four years of your life. Research indicates that the first week and even the first few hours on campus can affect college success, so be ready, be prepared and make this summer count! Here are some things to consider:

  • Your senior year was likely busy and hectic, so if you’re feeling overloaded, take some time to rest and re-energize so you’re ready to tackle that to-do list.
  • Contact the college or career tech financial aid office to make sure they’ve received your FAFSA (Free Application for Federal Student Aid) results and any additional paperwork required to finalize your aid offer. Remember, financial aid is to be used to cover education expenses such as tuition and fees, food and housing, books, supplies, and transportation.
  • Research your major and/or courses you’ll need to take and the faculty who teach them. Familiarize yourself with programs, clubs and activities in your interest areas. You can find information about courses, organizations, and faculty on the institution’s website and sometimes on social media.
  • If the school’s location is new to you, get acquainted with the area. Research or tour the town and find places of interest such as restaurants, parks, shopping malls and other recreational activities. For extra preparation, locate local hospitals and other essential services such as grocery stores. If you can’t do it in person, search the internet to find answers.
  • Once you’re enrolled and have a course syllabus, gather supplies you’ll need. You should consider going to your first class before investing in textbooks. Check out social media to see if students who’ve already taken the class have advice about whether the textbook is used or if there are alternatives. Many textbooks can be purchased used or even rented online, so don’t rush to the campus bookstore to buy new ones.
  • Look at a campus map or visit the campus before school begins so you’ll know your way around before the first day of class. It will lower your stress level if you know where things are located.
  • Save, save, save. Living the college life is almost always more expensive than students plan on. Take a summer job and save as much as you can so that when you walk on campus you have some money in your pocket and can pay for unexpected expenses.

It’s the summer before college begins – have fun and also make it count. You’ll thank yourself later!