I can’t believe that I finished my freshman year of college already! Last summer (and the first few weeks of school), I had no idea how I would possibly get through move-in day. I was scared to move away from my family, worried that my friends from home would move on without me, and grossed out by the idea of sharing a bathroom with the 60 other girls on my floor. Looking back on it, I wish I just relaxed during the summer and stopped stressing out over things that I couldn’t control anyways. That being said, my high school just graduated this weekend. Congrats to the Class of 2014! Their graduation got me thinking about how I felt the summer before college and how I wish I spent my summer. Here are some tips for you high school seniors already stressing about the year ahead.
- Breathe: I know that it feels like everything is happening at warp speed and you need to cram everything into the next three months. Inhale. Exhale. Good! You have 3 months before you leave…and then you move into college and have midsemester break about a month and a half later. You’re not leaving your friends or your hometown forever! Yes, it’s a big change, but you’ll be back soon enough.
- Read something: Maybe this is just because I’m going to school to be an English teacher, but all of my classes started off with, “So, what interesting books did you read this summer?” (OK, this is definitely because I’m an English major). Still, no matter what major you are, read! It doesn’t matter if you don’t think it’s “smart” enough. Read something you enjoy, and maybe you’ll learn something new. If not, at least you can impress your professors by having an answer on the first day of class.
- Start buying dorm supplies early and often: I pestered my mother all summer to go shopping for dorm things with me, but of course, we never went until the week before I left. We spent so much money in one week alone on things that I settled for because there wasn’t much left. Start stocking up now! Get cleaning supplies whenever they’re on sale, get your bedspread before they’re all picked over, and buy school supplies sooner rather than later. You’ll be happy you did when you’re not running around buying things the night before you leave.
- Spend time with friends: Don’t blow off your high school friends because you’re busy getting ready for college. When you all go off to your different schools, you’re bound to change. Your friendships will also evolve. This is the last summer you have before everything is different—cherish it. (Side note: you will change. Your friends will change. Your relationships will be different when you come home. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just a part of growing up. Embrace it!)
- Spend time with family: Most people opt to hang out with friends or go shopping or do anything but hang out with the family before they leave for school. Be nice to your parents, take your siblings out for ice cream, and enjoy it! Your family is going to miss you a lot, and they’re as stressed out as you are. Their baby is going off to college! Make it easier on everyone and hang out at home with the fam.
- Craft: There’s nothing worse than arriving to your new dorm room and seeing white cinderblock walls. You’ll feel so much more comfortable when you hang up pictures and canvases. Making dorm decorations will keep you busy over the summer, get you excited about move-in, and will make you feel 1000 times more at home once you’re all settled into your dorm.
- Learn how to microwave popcorn/Easy Mac: I know what you’re thinking: Seriously, a microwave. How stupid do you think I am? But seriously, eight fire alarms into the year, I wish everyone had learned how to use a microwave before they moved in. Please don’t be that girl who burns her popcorn at 2 a.m. because she accidently set the timer for 10 minutes instead of 1. You will regret it– trust me.
Hopefully these tips are useful to you all. Next week, I’ll do another post about what to expect during your freshman year. Congratulations on graduating—have an awesome summer, and get excited for the year to come!!!
PS. This post was the first of a month long challenge. I’m participating in Writing101, so stay tuned for a lot more posts from me (: