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Jun 07 2017
by Linh Nguyen

10 Ways to Prepare for Freshman Year Over the Summer

By Linh Nguyen - Jun 07 2017

The transition from high school to college is a daunting one that millions of teenagers across the nation experience annually. After graduation, incoming college freshmen have a summer that can contribute to shaping their undergraduate experience, as long as they make the most out of the brief months before this exciting change. 

Here are 10 tips to make sure that your summer is the most productive that it can be, both socially and academically.

1. Read a book.

What is almost every high school student's response to their favorite book? "I only read the assigned reading for English." Before you get swamped by college life, it would be beneficial to do some reading during the summer. Research constantly shows that reading boosts your intelligence and keeps you keen even as you get older.

2. Go on a road trip with your friends.

Before you and your friends go your separate ways for college, a road trip would be a perfect way to make memories to bring with you no matter how far you go. Plus, traveling without your family can help you to become more independent in preparation for living away from home.

3. Get a job for the summer.

With all of the downtime that you'll have after graduating, you might find it in your best interest to get a job to help with college funds. Even if you don't work a crazy amount of hours during the summer, every dollar counts.

4. Shop for new clothes.

College brings about an exciting new time, perfect for redefining your style in a way that you see fit. Plus, students often move far from home for college and must thus adapt to a new climate that is much different than what they are used to. As a result, wardrobes might need to adapt similarly.

5. Plan out a design for your dorm room.

If you're anything like me, your bedroom hasn't changed much since you were in elementary school. College is the perfect opportunity to pull out the interior design skills and make your new home a reflection of your own personality as you are now.

6. Learn to make new, healthy meals.

Scared of the freshman fifteen? That extra weight doesn't have to hit you if you start dieting correctly and learning the best foods to help you through college feeling strong and healthy!

7. Create a freshman year bucket list with your new roommate.

It can be scary to room with a stranger, but by getting to know your roommate before moving in by creating a bond through shared goals and interests, this can help to make the relationship a strong one from the start to ensure the best freshman year experience possible.

8. Binge watch that show you've been meaning to watch.

College is going to be a hectic experience with little free time outside of classes and extracurriculars, so if there's any show on Netflix or Hulu that you've been meaning to watch, you should do that during the summer while you still have down time.

9. Hit the gym.

Working out has numerous benefits that are impossible to ignore: It helps you to combat the freshman fifteen early on, it makes you feel active and healthy and it acts as a super-effective stress reliever. Start working out before college so that you'll be able to know exactly what to do at the gyms and rec centers that they offer in college!

10. Remember that you deserve this incredible opportunity to continue your education.

It can be easy to become overwhelmed by the talent and intelligence that you find in other students once you arrive in the fall, but don't exclude yourself from that spectacular crowd of students. You were accepted to your university because the admissions office saw something remarkable in you (yes, you, specifically!), so cast away the self-doubt and have faith in your own abilities.

College will be a brand new and, at times, terrifying beginning, but as long as you take your time and concentrate on the important things in life, you will have a wonderful four years and learn so much about yourself, others and the world around you. Good luck and congratulations again on this next stage in your life!

Lead Image Credit: Matt Cannon via Unsplash

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Linh Nguyen - Princeton University

Linh Nguyen is an incoming freshman who will be attending Princeton University in the fall of 2017. She plays the cello, piano and ukulele and her favorite TV shows are Black Mirror and Master of None. Linh plans on majoring in Neuroscience on the Pre-Med track, but has an eclectic range of interests, spanning from astrobiology to humanistic studies to evolutionary psychology. Follow her on Twitter at @linh__nguyen.

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