Planning the Summer Before Your First Year of College

Monday, April 12, 2021

How to Stay Academically Motivated During Summer BreakMaking the Most of the Summer Before Your First Year of College

Many high school students understand the importance of a meaningful summer break while they’re getting ready to apply to college, but what happens after you’re accepted? The summer between high school and your first year of college is an important transition period that should be planned with care. 

From preparing for your first lectures to staying academically engaged, there are several priorities students should keep in mind during this important break. Keep reading to learn more about making the most of the summer before your first year of college. 

Get Excited About What’s Coming Next

Whether you’ve earned a spot at your first-choice school or not, students should keep an optimistic outlook about the start of their college careers. Take some time to learn as much as possible about the school you are enrolling in. In addition to referring back to the notes you took during campus tours, make sure to sign up and attend any events for admitted students that your college is hosting. Follow your new school on social media to get a sense of what is going on on campus and the kinds of opportunities you can look forward to participating in during the next year. Even if enrollment was a difficult decision for you, strive to put aside any initial hesitations you had and focus on the positives.

Start Your College Academic Career Off Right

Make sure that you’re prepared for your first day of classes by planning in advance. As soon as you’re able to start enrolling, take a look at the course catalog and begin selecting the classes that best align with your interests and goals. If there are essays or assigned reading, don’t wait until the end of summer break to start this work. Instead, aim to begin working on summer assignments during the beginning of your vacation so that you have time to review your work and submit something that you are truly proud of. 

Give Yourself Time to Reflect

While it’s normal to be excited about your next chapter, don’t forget to give yourself time to reflect on your transition from high school to college. Review how the last four years went for you, the lessons you’ve learned, and the goals you have for the next milestone in your academic journey. End high school on a high note by thanking your teachers and guidance counselors, spending quality time with your friends, and finishing all of the extracurricular activities that you’re enrolled in. 

Stay Engaged in Your Passions

Expect to be challenged in new and exciting ways once you start your college courses. Instead of letting summer brain drain make it difficult to come back to classes in the fall, make sure you stay sharp during your break. Keep up on the latest news that relates to the subjects you are passionate about and any potential programs you’re interested in pursuing. Make sure that you’re doing your own reading, and consider consulting an independent reading list if you’re looking for some suggestions. If you’re enrolled in a summer course, independent project, or internship, make sure you give these commitments the same level of dedication that you did during previous summers. 

While transition periods can feel challenging and confusing, students should make the most of the summer between high school and their first year of college by staying academically engaged and preparing for more challenging coursework. If you’re getting ready to make your own enrollment decision and looking for expert guidance, our team of college admissions experts can advise you throughout every step of the process.

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