14 Dos and Don’ts the Summer Before Freshman Year of College

Entering college is such an exciting time in your life! In just a few months, you will finally leave your hometown and move to a new place to live independently. There is so much anticipation leading up to moving in.

teen with University of Florida shirt on
Here are the things to do and NOT do before Freshman year begins. (Twenty20 @carbonem)

Here are dos and don’ts for the summer before your freshman year of college to prepare you for this huge transition:

7 things TO DO this Summer

1. Do: Go to orientation

Although attending orientation can seem like a pain, it is a great way to get acclimated to the school and meet new people! At orientation, you will learn tons of important information about the school, and it can also be a lot of fun. A lot of people make some of their closest friends at orientation.

2. Do: Join the Facebook class group

Make sure to join the Facebook group for your school’s class of 2025. This group is essential because you will get to know the students you will attend school with for the next four years. This group will also be a great place to find your future roommate and ask any questions you may have.

3. Do: Find your roommate and figure out if you want a theme for your room

One of the first things you want to do after you have committed to a college is to figure out which dorm you want to live in and who your roommate will be. (If the college allows you to make those choices.) Choose carefully and be sure you are on the same page about most things, such as cleanliness and sleep times.

Once you figure out who you want your roommate to be, talk to your roommate and decide if there is a color scheme or theme you guys want for the room. You can also coordinate with them, who will bring a fridge, microwave, or other larger items.

4. Do: Figure out easy meals and snacks that are microwavable

While living in the dorms, you will probably eat most meals in the dining hall. You will likely only have the microwave to cook meals in your dorm room. The summer before leaving for college, figure out your favorite microwavable meals or snacks that you can make in the dorms! One of my favorite things to make in the dorms was microwavable udon, and I also loved making fresh salads.

5. Do: Double-check to make sure your school received your final transcripts

Make sure your college has received your transcripts on time! If your high school made a mistake and, for some reason, your transcripts are not received, colleges can revoke admission, even if it is not your fault, which is why it is crucial to double-check that your transcripts have been received.

6. Do: Mark your calendar for important dates

At the beginning of the summer, mark your calendar full of important dates, including class registration, the housing deadline, tuition and fee due dates, orientation, club sign-up deadlines, etc. You do not want to miss out on anything because you forgot about a deadline.

7. Do: Spend time with family and friends

Ensure that you are cherishing your time with your family and friends during your last summer at home. Once you leave for college, you will realize how much you missed hanging out with your friends on weekends and family dinners.

After arriving at college, most students don’t return home until Thanksgiving, and that is around three months since the semester began, so make sure you cherish the time you have with people in your hometown!

7 things TO NOT Do this Summer

1. Don’t: Judge the Facebook class group

Try not to judge people based on what is posted in the Facebook group. You will meet many different types of people in college, and the people posting themselves in the Facebook group are only a fraction of those you will go to school with.

2. Don’t: Go overboard buying things for the dorm before arriving at college

A big mistake many people make when going to college is buying too much for the dorms before arriving. Make sure to check what furniture is included in the dorm rooms. Also, it can be beneficial to wait to buy more oversized items until actually arriving at the dorms so that you can see the space and see what will fit. People often don’t realize how small the dorms are; sometimes, more oversized items may not work.

3. Don’t: Think you need a car your freshman year

Although going to college without a car might seem weird, many freshmen do not bring their car. You will be spending most of your time during your freshman year on or near campus, getting to know the area you are in. A car can also be a pain because parking near the dorms may not exist. Most freshmen do not bring a vehicle to campus unless needed to get to and from a job.

Even if high school was easy for you and you were an overachiever, do not take more than the recommended units for your first semester. In your first semester of college, you do not want to feel stressed out all of the time and constantly worried about school. Start by taking the recommended number of units for the first semester; take a second semester if that feels too easy for you.

5. Don’t: Sign up for early morning classes

Even if you naturally wake up early, do not take early morning college classes unless required. Everyone wakes up much later in college; you do not want to wake up early every day for class when your friends are sleeping in.

6. Don’t: Buy your textbooks too far in advance

Often, classes will say a textbook is required, but then you will read the syllabus, and the textbook is optional or not even on the list. It is best to wait and read the class syllabus before ordering your textbooks to ensure the book will be used in that class.

Usually, a professor will email a week or two before classes start and state the required materials for that class. Don’t feel pressured to buy everything in advance because you can save money by being patient and ensuring that the textbook listed will be used.

7. Don’t: Buy all of your textbooks new

Many freshmen make a mistake by buying their textbooks new, which can cost hundreds of dollars. Renting your textbook from Amazon or buying a used copy is much cheaper. The only reason you would need to buy a new textbook is if there is an access code inside that is required for the class, but this will be stated in the syllabus if this is the case.

More to Read: 

Ten Things Teens Really Wish Their Parents Knew About Them

About Madeleine Korn

Madeleine Korn is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Barbara. After graduating, she worked in marketing for a cybersecurity company for a year and a half. For the past year, she has been traveling the world while volunteering in hostels. Starting this fall, she will be teaching English in Spain. To learn more, here are her social media accounts: TikTok and Instagram. She loves writing and creating videos and really enjoys working for Grown and Flown!

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