The summer between high school graduation and starting college is an exciting time for young adults. The routine and security from more than a decade of education is over, and the looming college years are full of possibilities. While you’ll spend some of the summer getting ready for college, be sure to make time for the people and activities you enjoy, too.
Students who travel gain an appreciation for diversity; whether you travel to another state, country or continent, you can benefit from experiencing adventure and different customs. “There's no need to wait until you get to college to expand your cultural horizons,” according to the "U.S. News and World Report." Visit a third-world country and change your perspective on what matters most in life. Visit a sparsely populated area in the mountains and take in what Mother Nature has to offer. You can find valuable travel experiences in every price range, whether it's 100 miles away or thousands of miles away.
Spend Time With Friends
The summer following high school graduation is a bittersweet time. Young adults embark on college, careers and the military just a few short months later, and friendships change. Eat lunch, spend time at the pool, play video games and go shopping for dorm-room items with your high school friends. Create positive memories together; according to clinical psychologist Joseph M. Carver, PhD., friendships create memories with emotions and feelings attached to certain stages in our lives. You’ll carry these memories of this carefree time in your life long after summer has passed.
Think About Your Finances
Speak to your parents about what expenses they will cover and which ones you will be responsible for. You may have to pay for off-campus meals, entertainment and spring break travel. Earn some money for the upcoming months with a summer job; if you’ll need to work during the fall semester, contact your college’s office of student employment for information about jobs on campus. Open a bank account and set up credit and/or debit cards if you plan to use them.
Earning a high school diploma, taking college entrance exams and preparing college applications takes hard work and energy. Celebrate your accomplishments by sitting back and relaxing. Spend time practicing the hobbies you won’t have much time for in the fall. Read a few books in your favorite genre to keep your mind sharp. The work you encounter in college is likely to challenge you more than your high school coursework did, so you will want to end the summer full of energy and vigor, not exhausted by too many activities.
Based in the Southeast, Sally Miles has been a freelance writer and editor for nearly a decade. She has written for "For Me" magazine and holds a master's degree in English from Columbia University.