How to Spend a Summer Before College

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College is just around the corner, and you need to know how to spend the last few moments of your “pre-college” days. The possibilities are endless, but you do not want to waste a moment doing something that is not fun or functional.

  • Spend time with those closest to you. Chances are, you will be going away to college and spending time with those who mean the most to you will be a rarity. Do the things you have always enjoyed doing, whether that is pizza at your local hangout or a weekend rock climbing. You can also use the time to try something new, something you have always wanted to do, with your family and friends. Don't forget about the most important relationships of your life -- parents, grandparents and siblings. No matter where you go or what you do, they will always be your family, and you should do all you can to make the most of the time you have with them.

  • Take advantage of some “alone time.” Use this time to ponder your future. Make a few plans for your future. Ask yourself, “What do I want to be when I grow up” and “where do I want to be in 10 years.” Don’t forget to figure out who you are and who you want to be, not just what career path you want to take. Dream of your future life and make it as wonderful as you like. You must have a vision so you have something to make into your reality.

  • Visit the city of the college or university you will be attending. Share this experience with family and friends. Look over the area and familiarize yourself with where things are located. Of course, visit the campus and get a feel for what will be your new home away from home. Make a few contacts with students, staff and faculty of the institution.

  • Look for a job or volunteer opportunity. This is a great way to get some practical experience in what may become your career. Keep an open mind when applying. More than likely, you will start at the bottom of the ladder. Think of it as a way to monitor your progress. This will also help you weed out things you are not interested in. It is far better to spend time working or volunteering somewhere and finding out that specific field is not for you as opposed to spending time, money and effort on classes that do not suit you.

  • Take a summer class or two. This will help you get into the swing of college life. It will also add a few credits to your transcript, making your college graduation day closer than before.

  • Travel if finances allow. Take in as much of the world or country as you can. See something new. Eat strange and exotic foods. Keep a travel journal so you can remember all your thoughts and feelings, as well as your activities on this trip. It may seem silly at the time, but that journal will become a precious memento in the future.

  • Set your goals -- not just academic or professional goals but also personal goals that will help you grow as a person. Plan to meet your newest lifelong friend or the person you will someday want to marry.

  • Practice those things your mom or dad has been doing for you all of your life. Do your own laundry, cook your own meals and start washing the dishes. You will be responsible for those things when you are in college and need to know how they are done.

  • Budget your time and your money. Create a schedule for things you will be doing. This will be good practice for when you are juggling classes, work and a social life. Start watching how you spend your money. It always goes much faster than you ever expect. Mom and Dad may be there to help with finances when you do go to college, but it will take more time for them to bail you out.

  • Photo Credit Ingram Publishing/Ingram Publishing/Getty Images
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