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5 Things to Do the Summer Before College

Melissa Dimon | August 01, 2021

Attending orientation, developing a financial plan, and having time to enjoy the summer will help you prepare for college. While the move from high school to college can be challenging, arriving on campus well prepared can help students succeed. Experts advise kids to spend the summer between high school and college to plan for the upcoming school year.

Students may view summer as a time for fun and games – and there should be plenty of that – but it is also a time for them to think about their future. Incoming first-year students who are unclear on making the most of their summer before college should read the suggestions below.

Things to Do the Summer Before College

Review Academic Content

Experts advise students concerned about being academically unprepared for college to examine information gained in high school and strive to improve on such skills. For example, in Massachusetts, the President of Western New England University, Robert E. Johnson, encourages students to revisit curriculum from their senior year, notably math, science, English, and other areas they may need to improve.

Students can also get a head start on college classes by contacting instructors early and requesting the syllabus to know what to expect. This may also provide an opportunity for new students to get a head start on reading for their September semesters.

Complete Summer Reading

Some institutions require their whole incoming freshmen class to read the same book during the summer. These programmes differ from college to college, with some mandating students to complete the reading while others simply recommending it.

Experts advise students to do any assigned reading before arriving on campus so that they are ready to interact with their peers.

Attend Orientation

Incoming students can meet instructors and staff, as well as their future classmates, at orientation. Students can also register for classes, meet with their academic advisers, participate in orientation activities, visit the college, and become acquainted with the campus. In the weeks preceding up to freshman orientation, many institutions also provide pre-orientation sessions for students to get to know their classmates,” Christopher Rim, founder and CEO of admissions consulting business Command Education, stated in an email.

Orientation is also a good opportunity to learn more about the community in which a college is located. Senior director of undergraduate recruitment and admissions at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Beverly Woodson Day, encourages students to get off campus and explore. “I always advise students to visit the place where their university is located and learn about nature and culture. Then, look around to see where the essentials are. “Incoming freshmen should seek out retailers and services in the greater neighbourhood outside campus, she advises.

Connect With Classmates

Incoming students are frequently not required to wait until orientation to meet their future classmates or roommates.

“During the summer before freshman year, most students receive the names and emails of their freshman year housemates,” Rim explains. “Students should reach out to their roommates and begin getting to know them via email, text, call, or Facetime,” he adds.

Prepare for Dorm Life

Johnson advises students to learn the size of their room before moving in, so they know what they’re up against. Colleges frequently issue dorm essentials checklists to help students understand what is required and what is not. If students are flying in or travelling a long distance, they should come early and purchase vital supplies locally.

Furthermore, “students should consider the domestic labour that they may currently split with their siblings or parents but will now be exclusively accountable for,” Rim advises. Finally, he recommends students identify the abilities they lack before entering college, which could include learning to do their own laundry or other duties for the first time — or waking up without the assistance of a parent.


University Magazine

Originally published in the University Magazine on June 25, 2021.

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