3 Non-Academic Things To Do Before Your Freshman Year Of College

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Students sit on grass in front of brick building

Before you head to orientation, you’ll want to check some items off your to-do list.

August is winding down, and fresh high school graduates (like my brother) are preparing to take on a new stage of their life.

Incoming college freshman need to do a lot of official things before you finish “THE LONGEST SUMMER OF YOUR LIFE.” However, you’ll want to accomplish some less official things before leaving home, too—like spending time with loved ones and exploring all you can.

For the Syracuse-bound Little Goose, his big sis’s to-do list for him includes preparing for the cold north. “Chancletas” (flip-flops) are not meant to be worn year round in the northeast. No matter how much you wish you could. For you, here are three other suggestions on what to do.


1. Make Some Money—There’s Still Time!

Time is in abundance during summer. With so much of it on your hands, a job is suggested—wait, no, more like required.

It may be late in the summer, but it’s never too late to get a random, short-term job, like washing some cars or cleaning the gutters. You could become a pool boy or find something more geared toward your career of choice (presuming “pool boy” is not your intended career, of course).

Anything that can help you get some cash is encouraged. And once that income comes in, remember to set a budget. You don’t want to spend too much of your summer cash on adventures. The money you make during the summer will help you those first months of settling in. I guarantee it.

2. Just Keep Reading—Even If It’s Something Silly

Maybe you haven’t picked up a book since the school year ended? That’s OK, but now it’s time to get back in the habit. Reading keeps the mind active, and this will be a big help once the semester starts.

When you start school, you will face an overwhelming quantity of things to read. If you’re unprepared, this can set you off to a bad start. That’s why you should read ANYTHING and EVERYTHING: comics, random movie scripts, tweets, whatever. All you want to read, do it!

You’ll warm your brain up for learning, and you’ll get to do so with funny blog posts, memoirs, and other things you may not have time for once classes kick in. If you want to go a little bit further, set a reading schedule, like 50 pages a night or “one book in 1 week,” and see what you can do.

3. Create Healthy Habits

Heard of the freshman 15? If not, you will.

Gaining weight and destroying your sleeping schedule are common symptoms of being a freshman. Take preemptive action by starting an exercise regime that you can carry on during school year now. Pick a time and days of the week, and try to stick to it as soon as you get to school.

Exercise is a great de-stresser, and it can keep you focused on what you have to accomplish: getting that degree. Same thing goes for a good night’s sleep. A rested mind can help you stay healthy and more attentive in class.

What are some things you did the summer before you went to college that you wish you’d continue doing during the school year? Let us know in the comments!

(Photo: Wikimedia)

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