7 Ways High School Seniors Can Prepare for their Freshman Year of College

The summer between your senior year in high school and your freshman year at college is one of the best breaks you’ll ever have! Not only do you spend your vacation celebrating with everyone else who graduated, but you’re also gearing up to one of the most exciting times in your life—college! Given all the tumult and change, you may find yourself feeling it a bit overwhelmed. To help ease your mind and get you prepped for the fall, we’ve broken down the top seven ways you can start preparing for college while on your summer break.

Build Your Pre-College Calendar

One of the biggest mistakes high school seniors make when preparing for and heading off to college is ignoring all the mail and emails coming their way. While it may be tempting to just toss all that mail in the recycling bin, you instead should start paying attention. Why? Because those fliers and invitations contain the dates of your orientation, your move-in schedule, and deadlines for class registration. By not organizing and putting these times on your calendar, you may be missing out on something huge!

Research Your Course Load

Every college has a different way of registering students for classes. For some, you may meet with an advisor who will walk you through your specific plans. For other schools, you may be completely on your own to figure out what you need to take and when. If you’re struggling to understand it all, do your research. Reach out to other incoming freshmen, call up the Registrar or your assigned advisor, or find recent alumni who can break it down for you. And don’t forget to research the classes you’re tempted to take. Ratemyprofessor.com is a great way to see if you’re about to ease through your first semester or overload yourself with the tough classes first.

Upgrade Your Technology

New, expensive computers aren’t a must. Most college students love using their tablets or basic Chromebooks to take notes. Still, you should make sure everything is in working order. This is also a great time to purchase noise-canceling headphones, a small TV, and any other tech you may need for your new dorm room.

Start Your Dorm Shopping EARLY

There’s no sense putting it off—the time to stock up on bedding, towels, and decorations is now. Come late July and August, prices skyrocket, while stock becomes increasingly scarce. Shopping now can save you both time and money as you’re preparing for college. If you really want to be productive, check out OCM’s Value Pak options where you buy all the basics in one shop!

Take a Few Trips to Campus, If Possible

If you’re able, making a road trip to your new home on campus can be a great way to shake your nerves and get you used to your new community. Spend the time wandering the halls (if security allows), scope out where your classrooms will be, and find the best late-night pizza spot off-campus. All this will make you feel more at home even with a few months still to go.

“Stalk” Your New Roommate(s)

Once you’re assigned your roommate, you’re free to reach out and make friends. But really, we all know that we cyberstalk the person before we send that first email. Plus, it’s nice to go in knowing that they’re not completely crazy or that you both love the color purple and The Bachelor.

Update Your Resume

While you’re not applying for your career just yet, you will need that resume for other things, such as work-study jobs, internships, or career evaluation seminars. If you haven’t made one for yourself just yet, there are a ton of great (free!) resources out there that allow you to input your information and build a resume without a ton of work. If you need help, ask your parents or a teacher you trust for an assist.

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