Seven Simple Steps for the Summer Before College
Authors of The Freshman Survival Guide offer advice on how to prep for college this summer, and the chance to win a free copy of their book
You’ll be amazed at how quickly the time passes between graduation day and packing the car to leave for college. Make the most of the short weeks before you go with our seven steps below — pulled from our book, The Freshman Survival Guide — and enter to win a free copy for the high school grad in your life (see details below).
- Take Care of Your Relationships — You and all your friends are facing big changes and with big changes come big feelings. It’s easy to hurt the people you care about without meaning to. It’s a good time to be really forgiving and super patient with each other. Avoid burning bridges and schedule time early in the summer with the people you want to see before you go. (See chapter 1, p. 5)
- Fight Procrastination — Whether it’s shopping for dorm supplies or getting your freshman reading done, make yourself do one thing each day to get ready to go. Another good approach is to dedicate a day each week over the summer to getting college stuff done. Tell yourself, “Thursdays will be my college prep days,” so it doesn’t all mount up for the last weekend before you leave. You’ll want to save that time for friends and family. (See chapter 12, p. 121)
- Talk to the Roommates — sooner rather than later about who is bringing what to avoid duplicates. Check your college’s rules to see which appliances are allowed (usually you can have a mini-fridge but not a toaster oven). Check out our packing list!
- Save your $$$ — Don’t blow it all on college supplies before you leave. (See #3.) You may be surprised at how little you’ll need. It’s nice to have posters for your dorm room and that thing that hangs over the door to hold your shoes but it’ll be nicer still to have a few bucks in your account the last couple weeks of the semester.
- Talk to your Parents — They may make you crazy but let them give you advice. It’ll make them feel better and they may actually have some helpful wisdom to share. Remember you’re probably going to need them in the months to come and the better your relationship is now the easier it will be to ask for help later. Try to be patient with them and keep in mind that this is a big transition for them too.
- Seek out Mentors — Talk to friends who just finished freshman or sophomore year at college and ask them for their best advice. They’re fresh from the fight and can give you the clearest picture of what to expect. Check out the Interactive RA for advice from RA’s around the country.
- Know Where to Find Help on your new campus — wander the website for your school. You know your own struggles best so whether its extra academic help at the writing lab, figuring out where the counseling center is and how to get an appointment, or knowing where the gym is, give yourself a head start. (See chapter 18, p. 180)
(Adapted from The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful advice for studying, socializing and everything in between, published by Hachette Book Group USA.)
Do you have a soon-to-be high school grad in your life that you’d like to give some college survival tips to? Enter our contest to win a copy of The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful advice for studying, socializing and everything in between. We’re giving away copies of the book to five (5) winners chosen randomly from all entrants. To enter simply send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org with the names and e-mails of any students you’d like to introduce The Freshman Survival Guide to. For every legitimate, unique e-mail address we receive you will get one entry into our random drawing. There’s no limit to the number of entries you can make, as long as each student/e-mail you send us is new. (We will only use their address for the purpose of introducing them to our book. It will not be shared with any third parties, nor will we spam them.) So send us the names and e-mail addresses to email@example.com and please put the word “Freshman Contest” in the subject area of your e-mail. The contest runs through Tuesday June 4 at 12:01am EST.
Praise for the Freshman Survival Guide:
“Every freshman needs to read this book. If you’re a senior in high school, buy it and get ready for the most exciting year of your life. If you’re a parent or a friend of a new college student, you’ve just found the perfect gift. And if you’re a freshman, put that beer down and read it.”
James Martin, S.J.
author of My Life with the Saints and The Jesuit Guide to Almost Everything
“I can not think of a better gift to give a son or daughter, a niece or nephew, a godchild or grandchild who is heading off to college.”
Michael Galligan-Stierle, Ph.D.
Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities
“In the 21st century, young people from diverse faith traditions are interacting at a higher frequency than ever before — and it’s often on college campuses. The Freshman Survival Guide helps illustrate how to engage and understand this religious diversity to build the all-important bridges of cooperation rather than barriers.”
Dr. Eboo Patel
Interfaith Youth Core
“The Survival Guide is especially helpful and readable because it takes students quite seriously, and, in addressing their issues, it speaks their language candidly, frankly, and honestly.”
Charles Currie, S.J.
Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities
“College students arrive on campus with impressive resumes and advanced academic skills. Many, however, do not have the ability to confront the profound questions of meaning, values, or spirituality that will face them as they enter the adult world. This book makes an important contribution to helping college students navigate these defining moments.”
Wayne L. Firestone
Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life