Senior year is a busy time. You get so used to being a busy high school student, preparing to be a busy college student, that you forget to plan what happens in between. The summer before your first year of college is a weird time; you’re not a high school student anymore, but you’re not exactly a college student yet, either. However, that doesn’t mean that the summer has to be anything short of amazing. You could spend your time in several ways.
1. Spend time with friends
Chances are, you won’t see your high school friends as much once college starts. Make the most of the time you have. Have breakfast at midnight. Throw a sleepover just like old times. Go to the beach. Sing your favorite songs without a care in the world. Even if it’s still not sinking in, you’ll be starting a new chapter of your life soon. You can still stay in touch with your friends, of course, but you probably won’t have as much time to spend with them.
2. Get an internship
Sure, the summer is a great time to have fun. But it’s also a great time to get a head start on your career! Apply for some internships in your field of interest. If there’s nothing in your area that appeals to you, look for virtual internship opportunities. It may seem like no companies want to hire someone your age, but you won’t know for sure unless you apply (or unless it’s specified in the job description).
3. Take some classes
If you want to get some credits before college, you could take some classes at a local community college. Maybe you don’t know what you want to major in yet. Taking some classes at a community college would allow you to try some different subjects out before starting college. Maybe you know exactly what you want to major in, but your college has so many required classes that you feel as though you’ll never even be able to take Journalism 101. You could try to get some of these requirements out of the way for you can start taking classes in your major sooner. If you’re signing up for these classes and want to get credit for them, make sure that your college will accept the credits.
4. Complete that high school bucket list
You know that list you made freshman year? Of all the tasks you wanted to accomplish before the end of high school? If it’s not finished, make no excuses. Now is your chance to do everything that you had wanted to do during high school.
5. Explore your hometown
Pretend your hometown is the coolest place in the world. Seriously. Within a few months, your “regular” coffee shop will no longer be a part of your life. You won’t spend every weekend at your local grocery store. You won’t visit the community pool every weekend like you did during the summer for the past 18 years. Oh, the memories…
These things may not seem exciting now. They may even seem annoying or too familiar. But you’ll probably miss aspects of your hometown once you move away.
6. Make plans
Don’t spend your whole summer planning, but do some research on the clubs and activities available at your school. You’ll be less likely to overwhelm yourself if you think about what clubs you want to join in advance. While college is a great time to explore new interests, you also have to make sure you’re effectively managing your time and not spreading yourself too thin; you want to spend your time on the activities you’re most passionate about. This may include making some big decisions, especially if you have a lot of interests. If you start thinking about it before you start college, you’ll probably be more satisfied with the decisions you make.
7. Catch up on appointments
Need to schedule a physical within the next year? A dentist appointment? You’ll be pretty busy at the beginning of college, so if you have any upcoming appointments, schedule them now.
8. Try something new
Everything is changing. A little more change won’t hurt, right? Try something you haven’t tried before. Take a zumba class. Learn to knit. Volunteer at the zoo. Discover new music. Right now, your world is a strange blur of all-too-familiar and brand new, so embrace it. Let the nostalgia sink in, but also take on some new activities that you never tried before.
Though it may seem like a weird transitional time, the summer before college is a great way to both have fun and get a head start on your career. Let your heart fill with nostalgia as you watch your favorite movies and eat popcorn with your best friends. And let your heart fill with excitement when you plan to go out for coffee with your future roommate. You feel as though you’re leaving your past behind. Your future awaits, closer than ever before. But between all of that is you. This is your past, your future, your summer. All of these things come together to make you who you are. And that holds true, even when everything around you seems to change.
Though at times this summer will seem like goodbye, this summer offers you plenty to say hello to.