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Tips for the Summer Before College

The summer before college can seem like a stressful time. There's a lot of pressure to see everyone, prep yourself for a different, more collegiate lifestyle, and try to pack in exciting event after exciting event before you're college bound! And as overwhelming as those few months between high school graduation and college might seem, there are definitely some ways to feel like you're doing everything you need to before fall semester without feeling too exhausted.


1. Hang out with your friends as much as you possibly can. 

It doesn't matter if you're going away and they're staying home and vice-versa, or if you're both going to school locally. College bites a huge chunk of your time out of your four years (or more). You're going to have less time to hang out like you did in high school and you'll probably have to resort to a lot of texting to catch up until long weekends or breaks.

2. Work

Working the summer before college, and even longer before that, will allow you to have spending freedom at school. It's always nice to be able to buy yourself some food outside of the dining hall or go to a concert with a friend. Plus, working will alleviate some of the debt that is becoming almost inevitable from loans these days.

3. Do something memorable. 

Go on a road trip with you best friends. Go sky-diving. Cut your hair. Have the going away party of your lifetime. Do something that you can hold on to on those inevitable nights in college when you're going to feel overwhelmed or lonely or a (horrible) simultaneous combination of both.

4. Do your research. 

If you're going away to school, look around for restaurants and places to hang out in the area. Figure out where you can use college discounts. Sometimes colleges have discounts through them. For example, I believe with my CSU ID, I can get discounts at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Your university will have more information about these discounts, you just have to dig a little.

5. Don't be afraid

At least, not too afraid. Being paralyzed with fear about college isn't necessary. It's not as big and scary and people make it seem. Sure, it's different. You're on your own and sometimes it feels like professors don't care about you as much as your teachers in high school did. Look at it this way, in high school, you might have had 25 students in a class. I had a lecture with over 200 people in it my first semester. There's no way my professor could have given each and every one of us his undivided attention. He couldn't personally remind us to do our homework or to come to class. That doesn't mean he didn't care about our success, it was just impossible to vocalize it personally. College is a new experience that seems like a big scary wave in your otherwise calm ocean. All you have to do is plug your nose and get through it.

To me, there's nothing worse than wasting your summer away. There's a difference between relaxing and avoiding reality. You have to be conscious that everything is going to change at the end of summer, but don't let that keep you from having the time of your life. Time is of the essence, enjoy it!


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