As an incoming freshman, the summer before college can be an exciting time filled with anticipation and preparation. Here are 10 things to ensure you're ready for the college experience.

For incoming freshmen, the summer before college can be an exciting time filled with anticipation and preparation. The transition from high school to college is a significant milestone. To prepare for the college experience, we’ve provided a guide of 10 things you should do during the summer before your freshman year.

1. Get Organized

Use the summer to organize your documents and information. Ensure you have all the necessary paperwork for college, including:

  • Acceptance letters
  • Financial aid documents
  • Housing assignments
  • Health and vaccination records
  • Course registration information

Create a folder or a digital space to keep everything in one place for easy access.

2. Plan Your Finances

College is often your first taste of financial independence. To avoid stress later, create a budget for your first semester, taking into account:

  • Tuition and fees
  • Books and supplies
  • Housing and utilities
  • Food and dining
  • Transportation
  • Miscellaneous expenses (like entertainment, personal items, etc.)

Consider getting a part-time job or internship to start building a financial cushion.

3. Connect with Your Roommate

If you’re living in a dorm, reach out to your future roommate(s) to introduce yourself. Discuss shared items for the room (like a mini-fridge or microwave) and set some expectations for living together. Establishing a connection early can ease some of the anxiety about dorm life.

4. Familiarize Yourself with the Campus

If possible, visit the campus before the semester begins. Incoming freshmen can often sign up for orientation activities, allowing them to explore the dorms, classrooms, dining halls, library, and other key areas. This will help you feel more comfortable on the first day. If a visit isn’t possible, check if your college offers virtual tours or orientation programs.

5. Review Academic Requirements

Incoming freshmen can get a head start on your academic journey by reviewing course requirements. Check which textbooks or materials you need to purchase. If you have a reading list, start early to lighten your load during the semester. Consider taking summer courses to get ahead, if offered by your university. This is also a good time to practice your study skills and organize a study schedule.

6. Take Care of Health and Wellness

Ensure your health is in good shape before college. Schedule any necessary medical appointments, dental checkups, and vaccinations. Prepare a basic first aid kit and a list of emergency contacts. Consider learning basic cooking skills and meal planning for a healthier diet. Know your campus resources for health and mental health.

7. Spend Quality Time with Family and Friends

College can be a big adjustment for both you and your loved ones. Use the summer to spend quality time with family and friends. Create lasting memories and discuss how you’ll stay in touch while you’re away at college.

8. Pursue a New Hobby or Skill

This is a great time to explore new hobbies or develop existing skills. Whether it’s learning to play an instrument, starting a fitness routine, or mastering a new software program, these skills can enrich your college experience and provide a healthy outlet for stress.

9. Take Time to Relax

While preparation is important, don’t forget to relax and enjoy your summer. College can be challenging, so give yourself permission to unwind and do things you enjoy. Spend time outdoors, read for pleasure, or take a short trip with friends.

10. Get Mentally Prepared

Finally, prepare yourself mentally for the college experience. It’s natural to feel a mix of excitement and nerves. Talk to current college students or alumni to get their insights. Stay positive, embrace the change, and remember that this is a time for growth and new experiences.

With these tips, your summer before college will be a productive and enjoyable time, setting you up for success in the coming academic year. Enjoy this transition and make the most of it!