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Niche Resources

How To Be 100% Ready for College by This Fall

You’ve almost made it to graduation. Soon, only a couple of summer months will stand between you and the start of your college career.

Of course, you want to enjoy your final summer before college to the fullest. But with such a major transition looming, there’s a lot you need to do to prepare. So, what are your priorities? How do you make the most of the summer before college?

Balance is the key. The list below includes both fun items and “must-do” items. By completing the activities below, you’ll enjoy your summer and head off to college feeling confident and prepared in the fall.

Spend time with family and friends

Once you start college, you’ll see your family and friends on breaks and holidays. Still, it won’t be quite the same ever again.

Make the most of your time together this summer. Do your favorite activities, eat dinner at your favorite restaurants, and simply enjoy one another’s company.

You may feel more interested in hanging out with your friends, but don’t forget how much your family will miss you. And you’ll miss them more than you probably realize now!

Connect with your new roommate(s)

As you cherish your time with old friends, reach out to new ones too. Most schools provide a name and an email address for your new roommate or roommates. If you don’t get an email, it’s likely you can still find your future roomies on social media.

It may seem a little awkward at first, but reach out and get to know them. Find out what you have in common. Making a connection now will make your transition to living together much smoother.

You can also discuss dorm room logistics. For instance, if you’re sharing one room, there’s no need to bring two TVs.

In addition, you may be able to find a Facebook group just for incoming freshmen at your university. Join in on the group conversations. If you see people that seem like a good fit for your personality and interests, send them a friend request, or if that seems like too much, just DM them.

It’ll be easier if you head to school with a few friends already. Plus, this is good practice for the mixing and mingling you’ll do once you start school in the fall.

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Learn to cook a few simple meals

If your cooking skills are limited to microwave dinners and pouring cereal, now is a great time to learn how to make a few simple meals.

You’ll have dining halls, fast food places, and plenty of snacks and frozen dinners at school. But at some point, you’ll probably start to miss eating home-cooked meals. Learn some simple dishes like your favorite breakfast foods, pasta, chicken, or tacos.

If you have a slow cooker, cooking is as simple as dumping in the ingredients and leaving them for a few hours. It also reduces the number of dishes you’ll have to use.

Even if you’re living in the dorms, you’ll likely have access to a communal kitchen. So, start thinking about what you’d like to eat while you’re in college, and learn how to make it.

Browse your school’s website

Colleges are big places that offer many resources, activities, and opportunities. Spend some time browsing your school’s website and familiarizing yourself with what’s available:

  • What free resources does your school offer? You’ll want to take advantage of any appealing freebies.
  • What clubs or activities does your school have that you’d like to participate in?
  • Look at a map of your campus. Where’s the dorm you’ll live in, the buildings you’ll take classes in, and the dining halls you’ll eat in?
  • What else should students at your school know? If you’re able, it’s also a good idea to reach out to current students who can give you helpful info and advice.

The more you already have figured out, the easier it’ll be to get into the swing of things in the fall.

Buy college supplies

College shopping will be one fun — but potentially stressful — activity for you this summer.

Consider purchasing the following (if you don’t own them already):

  • Bedside and/or desk lamp
  • Storage bins
  • Mini trash can
  • Mini toolkit
  • Picture hangers
  • Clothes hangers
  • Laundry bag/basket
  • Detergent
  • Pillows
  • Blankets and comforter/bedspread
  • Sheets and pillowcases
  • Towels
  • Shower caddy
  • Shower shoes
  • Pens and pencils
  • Notebooks and/or folders
  • Post-It notes
  • Highlighters
  • Index cards
  • Binder clips
  • Tape
  • Stapler and staples
  • Scissors
  • Laptop
  • Extension cords
  • Headphones
  • Rug
  • Posters/art
  • Small refrigerator and/or microwave  (if your dorm doesn’t provide them)
  • Umbrella
  • Backpack
  • Paper towels
  • Trash bags
  • Cleaning supplies
  • Plastic bags
  • Tissues
  • Dishes and silverware
  • First Aid kit
  • Toiletries
  • Clothing

Since you’ll need to buy quite a few items, you can consider breaking your college shopping into a few separate trips. Or, if you prefer, you slowly build carts online and make a few big purchases towards the end of the summer.

Take naps

They say that college students can only choose two from the following list: sleep, social life, and good grades.

While this is an exaggeration, especially if you’re good with time management, it’s a great idea to take advantage of naps while you can.


Reading keeps your brain fit and ready to tackle college level courses and textbooks. Plus, now is a good time to read whatever you want, before required readings kick in.

Head to a bookstore or your local library and pick up a few books that interest you. When you have some spare time, relax into a good book.

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Get a check-up for you and your car

If you’re bringing a car to school, having it break down during your first semester would be an extremely stressful experience. Before leaving for school, take your car to a mechanic and get a tune-up. Change the oil, check the tires, and make sure your car doesn’t need any work before you head out.

While you’re at it, make sure that you get a pre-college check-up too. Most colleges have health services on campus, but you probably feel more comfortable with your current doctor. In addition, you can get prescriptions filled, get prescriptions transferred to a pharmacy close to campus, and ensure that you’re healthy and ready for school.

Pack before the last minute

Packing for college is a huge endeavor that should not be left until the last minute. Start by organizing your room well in advance. As you organize, you can go through what your own and sort it into items you’ll take with you, leave at home, and throw away/donate.

Begin packing little by little, and pack in an organized fashion. If you just throw everything into boxes, unpacking will be a challenge.

Print out a checklist and check items off as you pack them. By keeping the process organized, you’ll avoid the college packing panic familiar to many students.

Final Thoughts: How To Be 100% Ready to Go to College by This Fall

You’ve got a busy summer ahead of you! Make the most of this final pre-college summer by spending time with the people you love, getting to know your school and the people you’ll meet there, preparing, relaxing, and having fun.

If you do, you’ll head off to college in the fall feeling relaxed, rejuvenated, and ready for whatever your freshman year will bring.

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Author: Jason Patel

Jason Patel is the founder of Transizion, a college counseling and career services company that provides mentorship and consulting on college applications, college essays, resumes, cover letters, interviews, and finding jobs and internships. Jason’s work has been cited in The Washington Post, BBC, NBC News, Forbes, Fast Company, Bustle, Inc., Fox Business, and other great outlets. Transizion donates a portion of profits to underserved students and veterans in of college prep and career development assistance.