First, congratulations to all you graduating seniors! There is no feeling like finishing your high school education to close one chapter of your life while simultaneously opening a new chapter. Now that summer is here, it’s important to have fun and unwind but just as important to use the brief time to prepare for your transition into college as much as possible. Follow these tips to make your summer transformation a successful one.
Make the Most of Orientation: If you’ve selected your university, you likely have an upcoming orientation scheduled. During this period you’ll take your placement tests, meet new friends, take campus tours, get registered for classes, meet with a guidance counselor, and get your student ID. However, you can get a little extra out of it by doing things that aren’t on the university’s orientation schedule to make your first week in college less stressful. Take an hour to beat the lines and stop by the local book store to get your text books. And visit the local student union to pick up research on the various clubs and organizations to learn where you could get involved.
Get Familiar with General Ed Requirements: At orientation you’ll meet a guidance counselor who will help set you on an education path that aligns with your interests. However, it could be likely your interests are yet to be defined. Take time and think about the possible career paths that interest you and learn what degrees you’ll need and which schools within the university include those degrees. Then take a moment to look at the general education requirements for each of those degrees. There is likely going to be overlap in which general education credits will transfer from school to school. By making sure you focus on these transferable classes first ,your admission into a specific school will go smoother.
Start Your Budget: One of the lessons of being an adult is learning how to manage a budget. There is no better place to learn this than at college. Here you will be committed to set living expenses as well as have plenty of opportunity that will require extracurricular expenses. To avoid being one of the number of students who leave college with credit card debt, take a moment to figure your livable funding each semester. Calculate how much of that will need to go to living expenses and then what you will have left over for personal use. Once you have your personal use budget figured out, try living on it during the summer months to start developing realistic spending habits.
Apply for those Scholarships! Speaking of budgeting, a great way to cover some of your living expenses and the cost of a college education is to supplement them with scholarships. Yes, it can be a lengthy process to fill out but the rewards can be great. Just ask yourself how much is your time worth to possibly receive $500, $2k, $10k, or even full-tuition for your efforts up to this point? Your bank account will thank you for that time spent and your self-fulfillment will thank you as well. You can start by finding scholarships that you may qualify for by visiting our scholarships links page.
Establish a Fitness Routine: Once you enter college you’ll quickly learn that attending classes and studying will soon make fitness seem secondary. In order to manage the daily stresses of college and to maintain your health, it’s important to keep fitness as a priority. Once you go through orientation and know your class schedule, figure out when you can squeeze in an hour of exercise every day. Then set your exercise schedule in the summer to this time and begin forming your habitual clock around this daily routine.
And Finally….Learn the Basics of Laundry. Yes, it’s a little humorous. But the reality is this simple chore that most of us have counted on our parents to do for so long is soon to be your responsibility. Spend some time and ask your parents if they can teach you the basics of separating fabrics, how and when to use softener and bleach, and even get those closely held family secrets to removing pesky stains.