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 be leaving your hometown and moving to a new place to live on your own. There is so much anticipation leading up to move 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 it can seem like a pain to go to orientation, 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 important because you will be able to get to know the students that you will be going to school with for the next four years. This group will also be a great place to find your future roommate and to 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 be eating most meals in the dining hall. Inside your dorm room, you will likely only have the microwave to cook meals. 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, make sure to 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

Make sure that during your last summer at home, you are cherishing your time with your family and friends. 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 so many different types of people in college, and the people posting themselves in the Facebook group are only a fraction of the people you will go to school with.

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

A big mistake a lot of 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 larger 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, and sometimes larger items may not fit.

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

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

Even if high school was very easy for you and you were an overachiever, do not take more than the recommended number of 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 first semester, and if that feels too easy for you, take more second semester.

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

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

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

A lot of times, 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 that the book is going to be used in that class.

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

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

A mistake that a lot of freshmen make is buying their textbooks new, which can cost hundreds of dollars. It is much cheaper to rent your textbook from Amazon or buy a used copy. 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 will be a senior communication student at UC Santa Barbara. She was an intern for United Airlines in both 2018 and 2019, where she was involved in projects to improve the customer experience. This past year she was advertising director for The Bottom Line newspaper at UC Santa Barbara. She loves writing and creating videos and is very excited about being an intern at Grown and Flown.

Read more posts by Madeleine

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