6 summer tips to prepare you for college

By Cecilia Luna

Your high school career is at an end and college is just around the corner. When I graduated from high school, I thought I had all summer to prepare for my first semester at a major university, and I was right. But all summer sometimes isn’t enough!

In the blink of an eye, I was weeks away from moving into a dorm and beginning classes, with no idea where to start preparing. But with a little hard work, I was able to get ready for my first day of school on time. Though I made a few mistakes, I learned from them and made a list of the things I wish someone had told me before my first year of college. More importantly, I learned how to make my summer as productive as possible.

1. It’s never too early to prepare for classes

College courses move at a much faster pace than what we’re used to in high school, so it’s important to always be prepared for class on any given day. Yes, even the first day.

  1. Order your textbooks early. Don’t wait until the week before classes start to buy all five of the books you’ll need for the fall, because almost every other student will be making the same mistake. By that time, your textbook could be sold out at your school, or shipping could take longer than necessary. You don’t want to walk into your first day of class empty-handed!
  2. Buy new supplies. It sounds silly, but buying new school supplies is extremely helpful for your first semester of college. Your folders and pencils from high school might still be functional, but buying new ones is just a better idea. College is a fresh start, so the tools you’ll be working with should be fresh, too!
  3. Check for class assignments (Yes, even in the summer!) It’s not unusual for a professor to send out emails or announcements through a class website about an assignment before the course even starts. Just because it’s summer, doesn’t mean you can neglect your college email account! You don’t want to find out a week before class that you had the entire summer to read a novel for your literature course.

2. Spend time with your family and friends

One summer just isn’t enough to fit in as much quality time as you need to combat homesickness during your first semester away from home. Make sure you are with loved ones as much as you can, because after summer it’ll only get harder to find time. More than likely, you’ll be taking summer courses after your first year. Take advantage of your freedom now, while you still have it!

3. Pack early

You have way more stuff in your room than you think, so plan accordingly. A dorm room is not forgiving to clutter. Make sure you go through your belongings and take only what you need. Four years is a lot of time to accumulate more things, and when the time comes to move out of your college pad, you’ll have a lot more than you brought with you.

The most important tip about packing, though, is that it takes serious time. Don’t overestimate how much time you have left!

4. Get familiar with your new college town

If you’re planning on moving to a new town, it’s best to be informed about where things are, rather than wasting time finding your way. Do your research before attending school in a town you’ve never lived! Find the best spots to eat, shop, or just hang out. More importantly, research your college and see what extracurricular activities they have to offer that interest you. This will save you a lot of time, and you can even make new friends with your vast knowledge of the ins and outs of your college town!

5. Get to know your roommate

If you’re planning on living with someone you haven’t met before, it's best to have some idea of who they are before you make the big move. The first time living with a randomly assigned roommate is already awkward enough, so don’t make it worse by not knowing their name on the first day.

6. Don’t freak out!

Being prepared is the most useful advantage you can have as a freshman. If you’re feeling anxious or scared about finding classes, just remember, so is everyone else. Even as a sophomore, I still get nervous just before school starts. It’s only natural. College is fast-paced and stressful, but it’s not impossible. More than anything, college is fun. So enjoy it!

For moving help try DormRoomMovers.com. They specialize in helping college students move so all you have to do is sit back and relax.

About the author

Cecilia will give us an inside look at a day in the life of a college student, sharing her journey with us every step of the way. She’s a second-year public relations major at the University of Florida. Her hometown is in south Florida, in the small town of Clewiston, and she’s ready to make her mark. “Not only am I learning to adjust to a bigger city, but all of the adventures this big university brings along with it.” You can follow her adventures right here on Unigo!