7 Simple Steps for the Summer Before College

Authors of 'The Freshman Survival Guide' offer advice on how to prep for college this summer

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.

1. 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.

2. 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.

3. Talk to your roommates

Discuss sooner rather than later 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!

4. 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.

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5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Know where to find help

Look for resources on your new campus and on the school website. 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.

(Adapted from The Freshman Survival Guide: Soulful advice for studying, socializing and everything in between, published by Hachette Book Group USA.)