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What can I do in the summer to help me prepare for my freshman year of college?

from highs school senior

Thank you comment icon Hi! :) I'd say relax as much as possible! Spend time with your high school friends, because it might be harder to see each other once you disperse to different colleges. At least for me, I ended up taking summer courses every year in college; so I'm really glad I had a last summer before starting college where I wasn't super busy. If you do want to prep some, I'd say visit your college if you can (in person or virtually) to get a better idea of the campus and culture. Reach out to your future roommates (if you have any/know how they are) and start bonding with them. Altogether: please have fun!! You're going to have four years to grind and work hard, so please relax while you can :)) Marlowe

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Subject: Career question for you

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14 answers


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Nathan’s Answer

I would take Tyler's advice and just relax. Try not to stress out too much. I would personally start learning how to manage your time. College is a lot about managing time and I honestly believe that is one of the most important aspects of college. Be excited to learn new things and meet new people. Make sure you read all of your class's syllabuses and prepare for the class before you get into it. Good luck and I wish you the best!
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M’s Answer

Hi Shuk! This is a great question! I would recommend looking into the major you plan on pursuing and looking into your schools resources, clubs, organizations, etc. Likewise, if you are undeclared or not too set on your major look into other majors offered at your college and see if you could potentially be interested in something else. Other than that I would really just recommend, taking this time easy, do what you enjoy and relax. Wishing you all the best!
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Tyler’s Answer

Great question, Shuk. I would recommend the following to best prepare for your freshman year of college:

-Relax. Too often students graduating high school moving on to their college transition try to fit in as much as they can in what will be one of the last summers they will ever have. Life is going to speed up, and if you can take a few weeks or even a month to enjoy time with family and friends, going on road trips, etc. this will help you be as sharp as possible heading into your freshman year.
-Look over every major your college offers and boil it down to three. I regret not doing this as I had 7+ majors I considered spending time to achieve which ended up making it more difficult to trim it down. Having fewer possibilities makes making final decisions later on in college easier. The average student in college switches their major 3 times, so doing as much homework ahead of time will help you to hopefully stay ahead of that curve.
-If you already know what type of major or field you want to go in, spend 2 months or so at a related internship. This is more valuable than any class you could take, as you can get a better idea of what you want to go into, or just as important, what you don't want to go into.

Best of luck, Shuk!
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John’s Answer

My recommendation is to gain exposure into the career field you are interested in or think you're interested in. For example, if its medicine, shadow, volunteer at a hospital or gain a medical certification (e.g., phlebotomy) and work part-time. This early exposure is valuable in ensuring that your four-year commitment is the right decision and you aren't surprised by the day-to-day work in that career field.
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Christian’s Answer

What can I do in the summer to help me prepare for my freshman year of college?

There are two things I think you should do. Firstly, enjoy this summer. You've had a whole 4 years of hard work in highschool to get to where you're off now, and a pause for reflection/appreciation of where you are can be great for being more centered in the future. The second is be prepared. If you feel like you've struggled academically in a certain subject that you know you'll be covering in your first year, it may be good to dedicate some time towards perfecting that skill. It doesn't have to be intensive either, something as consistent as 3 hours a week can really help you get on the right footing.

I spent my post high school summer enjoying bike rides and traveling as much as I could, and I thoroughly loved that I got the chance to do that before things picked up again in college. School can be very stressful, and taking that time off to go do other things and explore yourself/the world can only help define your person. Coming into college knowing a little more about yourself will set you up for success in knowing things like where you want to be, what are the things you want to achieve, what are your interests, what do you want yourself to be known as, who do you want to be and so on. Questions that might seem silly in some regards but I think very valuable in taking some insightful, critical thoughts when you have some time to explore those concepts, alone or with friends.
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Kelly’s Answer

Hi Shuk,

I would encourage you to enjoy your summer. You can also start doing things now that will prepare you for school.

1) Start looking for ways to get plugged into your school and different organizations/clubs that may be of interest to you. Be mindful of time commitment for anything above and beyond your studies so you can balance both your academic and social commitments.
2) Before you enroll in classes, one thing that proved invaluable to me was looking at reviews for professors who teach courses you need/want to take. Having a good professor makes all the difference!
3) If you know other students at the school you'll be attending, ask them about the first things you should know to be successful and what they wish someone would have told them at the start. They'll be the best resources for you. You may be able to find some chat rooms or other online groups where you can talk to other students/alumni.
3) If you'd like to get a head start, you can always look for ways to volunteer over the summer in the field you'd like to pursue or meet with professionals who are working in the field. This will give you a taste of the work and an idea if that's really where you want to be. I know firsthand that switching majors can cost you time and money so try to avoid that pitfall if you can.

Wishing you the best!
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Parniya’s Answer

As others have mentioned, take the time to relax, spend time with your family, and your friends from home. In addition, take the time to really research your college, looking into the clubs and organizations they have, the majors/classes/professors. Doing this research ahead of time, gives you a big head start when you start your first semester!
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Grisselda’s Answer

Hi, first off i want to say that’s it’s amazing the motivation and drive you have to use your summer to help you get prepared for freshman year. A few things you can do before your first year in college is to do extensive research on the college such as it’s clubs, organizations, activities, sports, and events available. Some colleges usually have events during the summer which is a great opportunity to get to know the campus as well as socialize and meet new people. Reading online forums about current and former students can help you stay connected and understand college in a different point of view. I also think that if it’s a available, taking summer classes or starting an internship related to your major can be helpful.

Hope this helps, good luck to you! Best wishes!
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Daniela’s Answer

Please just relax! It's your last carefree summer! No future employer is going to check what you did during that last summer before college. If you want, check if your college/university offers orientation weeks - this will help you to find your first new friends. But that's really optional. Just enjoy!
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Madi’s Answer

Hi Shuk,

Before college there are a few things that you can do.

1. You can prepare your supplies. For classes, you'll need a laptop, notebooks, pencils, papers, calculators, etc. You can begin to assemble these supplies so that you are ready to work. Additionally, if you'll be living on campus you will need personal things like toiletries, your clothes, bed sheets, towels, etc. There are many websites that have examples of supply lists for college. This really helped me pinpoint exactly what I needed.

2. You can get familiar with your future classmates. This can be done through social media like Facebook, where many colleges have a class page for every group of new students. You can try to connect with some people so that you already have a network when you arrive on campus.

3. You can enjoy some relaxation. As someone mentioned earlier, you should take time to do things that you enjoy and spend time with family.
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Dennis’s Answer

Great Question Shuk. There are a few things I would recommend for someone in your position.

1. Take time to enjoy your summer. You just finished 4 years of high school and successfully navigated the college admissions process.
2. Spend some time connecting with your future classmates. Social media makes this far easier than when I was in school. Find people with common interests, same major, etc.
3. Investigate ways to get involved in your college community. What types of extra-curricular activities interest you. These are a great way to meet new people and have fun.
4. If possible, try to get an internship in your area of study. This is a great way to get some real world experience in your field

Best of Luck!!
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Carolyn’s Answer

Hey Shuk! Congratulations on taking the next steps in your educational journey! Beginning your undergraduate career is a huge milestone, and it deserves to be celebrated!

I have a few suggestions for what you can do during the summer before your freshman year!
-Spend time with friends: most friend groups will spread out, with everyone going away to different colleges. Spend time being young and enjoying the time that you have with everyone while you can. Life comes a lot faster than you would think so it's important to take the time to enjoy while you can.
-Try to take an online general education course if your school offers one. This will help prepare you for college level courses, and give you a realistic expectation of assignments. Plus, getting a course out of the way is a huge bonus.
-As other commenters have said, take a look at clubs and organizations you would be interested in! I waited far too long to get involved. It's a great way to meet people with common interests once the school year starts! Also, if you find a professional org that aligns with your career interests (i.e., business orgs, healthcare orgs, etc.), you could reach out to their club board members to see if they have any tips for getting involved! Great way to establish connections early on!

Best of luck!
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Ojal’s Answer

Hey ! If you know what academic field/major you want to study, I would highly recommend creating a spreadsheet and listing out the coursework that you want to take at college. This can be extremely useful because once you enter college, you will be conscious of the classes you take and you might make better decisions. Proper coursework planning can lead to early graduation, less stressful semesters, and a fun academic experience. I would also recommend looking into the list of student organizations that you might want to join. Specifically for STEM students, I would recommend taking a math or science class just to avoid the summer slide. To those who want to learn coding, I would recommend taking an online coding class. Depending on the school you might get credit for taking classes at community college.

On the other side, you can spend more time with your high school friends before you all head off to college. You can try a cool summer job, pick up a new hobby, or volunteer. I would also recommend getting your Driver's license if you haven't already. You can also learn a bit about investing, budgeting, and setting up a credit card account if haven't yet. These are just some practical skills I found extremely useful when I was in college.
In the end, don't forget to relax and have fun shopping for dorm supplies!
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Brandon’s Answer

Hi Shuk! Similar to what Minha said, looking into the major you plan on pursing and looking into your schools resources, clubs, and organizations, is very important. However something that is not really mentioned is looking into classes and courses you need to take. As a current freshman in college who is about to finishing his first year, planning out your courses for each quarter/semester is very important. A month before college started I found myself doing research and outlining my college courses on a Google Sheet. This really helped me have a smooth enrollment period and it also gave me a sense of what I was going to be doing during college. I recommend planning out your classes for the first and second year of college and also find alternative courses that you can take if you can't get your desired class. During enrollment periods many students compete for the same classes and in some cases a certain class is only offered at certain quarters or semesters. During my enrollment periods I found myself not getting the classes that I wanted and stressfully looking for another classes that I could enroll in. Another thing you should also consider looking into is your General Education courses (GEs) that you need to take. You should definitely do some research on GEs and find easy classes for those requirements. Keep in mind that some of your major courses may fulfill a GE. I recommended reading Reddit posts and searching up professors on Ratemyprofessor.com when looking for easy GEs to take. Good luck and I wish you the best!
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