3 Things to Do the Summer Before Heading to College

If you’ve just graduated high school and are going to college in the fall, you probably want to make the most out of the summer. School might be the last thing from your mind now, but there are several ways you can prepare yourself for college.

Look at Your Financial Options

If you haven’t done it already, summer is a great time to look at your options for paying for school. That’s especially true if you didn’t get a scholarship. One option is grants, which you can get from the federal government, the state, or even your college. They don’t need to be repaid, and they are based on financial need according to the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) that you filled out. You can also look into applying for private scholarships. These come from nonprofit groups, community groups, and companies. Get help from your high school guidance counselor or start searching online. Many students look to loans to cover tuition and other costs. Federal loans come with limits, however, and depending on your degree path, they may not cover everything. That’s why some students choose to take out private loans instead. This is a great way to cover the gap between your financial aid and your expenses.

Collect Essentials and Furnishing

You can immensely improve your quality of life in the dorm with some nice bedding and other interior décor items. Many dorms haven’t been renovated for a long time and many come with fluorescent overhead lighting, cinderblock walls, and tile floors. You can improve the lighting with lamps or strands of Christmas lights. The dreary walls can be dressed up with posters, and a large area rug can soften hard floors. Don’t forget to check on your school’s website to check for limits on decorating. Now is also a great time to look for essentials for your room. That includes towels, electronics, sheets, and other necessities for daily life. Check with your school to see if they have a recommended packing list.

Communicate with the Important People

Before going to school is the best time to talk to your parents about how often you will come home. Let them know how often you want to hear from them while you’re at school. And if you haven’t already, talk to them about who will pay for what when it comes to your college expenses. By being on the same page about these aspects, you can avoid a lot of problems later. Consider talking to your roommate now as well, especially if you’ve never met before. If you haven’t heard from them yet, be the one to initiate contact. Many universities will give you your roommate’s school email. You might find out ahead of time that you have much in common. Or you might find that one of you loves bright colors while the other prefers more muted tones. That will help you to coordinate your decorating efforts, so they don’t clash. No matter what, you can set some ground rules about quiet hours, lights out, and visitors.