If you’re anything like me, going to college will be a nerve-racking experience. Luckily, there are ways to get around those nerves. Yes, you’re going to have to fill out some financial packets and some contracts, but why not have some fun mixed in? Here’s the ultimate to-do list for the summer before college — I mean we’ll take anything to make the transition from high school senior to college freshman easier, right?

1. Attend a summer concert.

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Sure, you’re going to get student discounts on concerts and events with your student ID in your college town, but why not get a head start on that “discount”? Local fairs usually have some (free!!!) acts at the grandstand, so why not check them out?

2. Clean out your closet.


This one seems obvious, but your high school wardrobe should not be the same as your wardrobe in college will be. This is a chance to “reinvent” yourself so take it. Keep the polished items, something fun for an interview or a party, but if you’re thinking that super bright pink mini from freshmen year is worth keeping, well, you do you.

3. Apply for a summer job or even do some odd jobs.

My mom always used to say that a little goes a long way. And nothing will help the college transition become easier than having a little bit of money to spend when you get there. Even if it’s mowing lawns or babysitting, a little extra cash never hurt anybody.

4. Cook with (or for) your family.

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You have one last summer before you go off to college and your family is really going to miss you. Take some time out of your day to make a meal with them or for them. It shows that you care and that you’ll miss them just as much as they will. And if your siblings (if you have any) don’t show any appreciation, don’t sweat it. It’s really for your parents, to be honest.

5. Learn to do laundry.

If you haven’t learned how to yet, now is the time! Mom and dad won’t be there to help you through this process in college and when that red sock accidentally goes in with your whites, you’ll wish they were. (Have fun with all your new pink clothes.) Residence halls are going to have laundry rooms, but no one else is going to want to touch your dirty workout gear so take the time to learn now. It’ll be worth it.

6. Road trip it.

This seems kind of impossible, but you can totally do it. Find a few friends and just explore the area around you. The town I live in is just a few miles from hiking areas so taking one day to visit all of them doesn’t really sound like a bad idea. You get to be with your friends for one more “last moment” and you get to Insta-pic all the cool adventures.

7. Take a picture every day.

Lame, I know. But think about it: it’s your last summer as a high school student. Wouldn’t you want to remember these last few moments? Even if it’s not every day, at least you’re going to look back on a few memories that really stuck out.

8. Have fun!

The New York Times

Yes, you’re going to have a blast in college, but you’ve got this last bit of freedom where you can call yourself a high school student. You get to hang out with friends you won’t see again until winter break halfway through the semester. The separation is going to suck so make this count. Make it awesome. Just have fun with it!

Basically, there’s no way you can go wrong with any of these suggestions. But coming up with your own way to celebrate high school freedom is all you can ask for. Plus, this is your chance to appreciate your family and your high school friends for what they are. Remember: you only have three months so make it count!

Lead Image Credit: The New York Times