6 Things You Should Do the Summer Before College

A young man listening to music on his headphones and having an orange juice.

As the final echoes of your high school graduation ceremony fade away, a sense of thrilling anticipation takes hold. The summer before college is finally here! This pivotal time, often filled with equal parts excitement and anxiety, is more than just a break. It’s a transition phase, a bridge from your high school life to the college adventure that awaits. So, how do you make the most of this period? This article aims to answer that very question by guiding you through six essential things you should do during this unique and momentous summer. Each step is designed to prepare you not only for the logistical aspects of college life but also for the personal growth journey you are about to embark upon. Let’s dive in!

1. Set Personal Goals and Expectations

College is more than just an extension of your academic journey. It’s an opportunity to explore and define your personal and professional aspirations. So, use these hot days before you head off to college to set your goals. What do you hope to achieve in your first year at college, and what are your long-term plans? You could consider academic objectives, like maintaining a certain GPA, engaging in research opportunities, or completing certificate courses that augment your primary studies. Personal goals can also play a part – perhaps you want to establish a regular workout routine, join a club, or learn a new language. Of course, these goals are not unchangeable. They are a direction, not a destination. As you grow and change throughout college, your goals can shift and evolve too. Use this summer to plan your journey and establish the initial path you’d like to follow.

2. Get Your College Logistics Sorted

With your acceptance letter in hand and excitement brimming, it’s time to get down to brass tacks. As you prepare to embark on your college journey, there are a few logistical tasks that need to be ticked off your checklist. First, ensure your housing is secured – whether it’s a dorm, an apartment, or off-campus housing. Next, familiarize yourself with your course schedule and registration process. It’s also critical to make a comprehensive list of supplies you’ll need – from textbooks to dorm essentials. And while you might be tempted to move yourself to save a few bucks, remember that moving can be a logistical nightmare without professional help. Therefore, find adequate assistance for your move and avoid all unpleasantries. After all, starting college should be more about excitement than exhaustion from a difficult move. This pre-emptive planning will leave you more relaxed and prepared when you finally set foot on campus.

3. Embark on a Journey of Financial Literacy

One crucial aspect of preparing for college is developing a solid foundation in financial literacy. The pre-college period is the perfect time to embark on this educational journey. Take the opportunity to understand personal finance basics, such as budgeting, saving, and managing expenses. Open a bank account if you haven’t already and explore different financial tools and resources available to students. Additionally, familiarize yourself with the intricacies of student loans, including repayment plans and interest rates. Through this learning about financial management, you’ll gain the skills and knowledge necessary to make informed decisions and navigate the financial aspects of college life more effectively. Start building a strong financial future now, and set yourself up for success as you transition into college.

A person attending an online course.

Using the summer before college to take up an online course can benefit you greatly in the long run.

4. Brush Up on Essential Skills

Developing practical skills during the summer before college can set you up for success. From managing your schedule to mastering basic cooking, each skill you acquire is a step towards independence. Consider moving skills, too. According to a moving expert at, “Moving isn’t just about transferring items. It’s about careful planning, protection, and organization.” Understanding the basics of moving, like packing fragile items or disassembling furniture, can save future troubles. So, make the most of this time to learn and practice. But don’t forget it’s not about perfection, but progress and every mistake is a valuable lesson.

5. Use the Summer Before College to Nurture Your Mental Health

College transitions can be stressful, making pre-college mental health care vital. This summer, build a self-care routine that includes exercise, meditation, good sleep habits, and perhaps even travel. Ever dreamed of exploring Australia’s Great Barrier Reef? Such trips can offer new perspectives and stress relief. After all, nurturing your mental health is as crucial as academic preparedness. Embrace activities that foster joy, peace, and fulfillment.

A woman looking at a map while leaning onto a car.

Pre-college days are a great time to work on increasing your overall well-being and traveling is an effective way to do it.

6. Make Time for Fun and Relaxation

College life can be rigorous and demanding, so taking the time to unwind and recharge during the pre-college season is essential. Engage in activities that bring you joy, provide relaxation, and stimulate personal growth. Perhaps you’ve always wanted to learn a musical instrument or pick up painting – now’s the perfect time! It’s also a great idea to incorporate physical activities into your routine. For example, practicing martial arts can be incredibly beneficial. Not only does it improve physical fitness, but it also teaches discipline, focus, and self-defense – skills that can be useful in college and beyond. Whether it’s reading a book on the beach, hiking through the woods, or perfecting your karate kick, be sure to dedicate time to fun and relaxation. A balanced life is a happy life, and a happy life leads to success.

A woman in a hot tub reading a book.

This is the time to relax as much as possible and reading a good book can help you with that.


The summer before college offers an extraordinary opportunity, a brief respite between two significant life chapters. By taking these six steps — sorting out your college logistics, becoming financially literate, setting personal goals, brushing up on essential skills, nurturing your mental health, and making time for relaxation and fun — you’re ensuring that you arrive on your new campus prepared, confident, and eager to embrace all that college life has to offer. But have in mind that this summer isn’t just about gearing up for the next academic challenge. it’s also about self-discovery, growth, and building resilience. So, enjoy this time, make it productive, and most importantly, make it yours. Here’s to an unforgettable summer and an even more exciting journey ahead in college!

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