Congratulations! You did it. You’ve passed the hurdle that is high school. You’ve thrown your graduation cap into the air, looking up to the possibilities. But eventually, that cap comes back down and you’re looking ahead at what comes next – summer vacation.
Summer creates endless chances for fun and restoration, but it also presents opportunities to prep for the next big life event – college.
Preparing for college can be stressful, but Western is here to tell you it’s not – especially when you have the proper tips in tow. Below are insights and suggestions to help you – whether you’re heading to college yourself or you’re the parent of someone who is.
What Can I Do to Prep Over the Summer?
One of the best assets that summer vacation offers is time. There’s time to do a number of things to get you ready for college:
Get an Internship – Use the knowledge you’ve gained from high school and apply those skills in an internship that interests you. Even if it doesn’t offer a salary, internships are a prime way to learn more about an industry and gain experience in your desired field. It’s another win to add to the résumé and help build connections.
Volunteer – Check out the local hub for community needs at www.ugetconnected.org. You’ll get matched with opportunities right for you. Volunteering is also an appreciated addition to your résumé.
Build Your Résumé – There are college courses on résumé building, but it never hurts to start early. List your recent work experience, volunteer opportunities, and any relevant high school extracurricular activities and accolades. That way, should a career opportunity present itself, you’re always ready!
Summer Courses – One of the best ways to get ready for college is to get a head start through summer courses. At Western, we help you start your summer term strong. We offer several online courses, plus online readiness training to prepare you for this learning environment.
Pro Packing Tips
Once you have an idea of what you can do over the summer, next comes physical preparation. Here are some key do’s and don’ts before you pack up and go.
- Make a List – Create your essentials guide consisting of useful items like a bookbag, notebooks, pencils, a laptop, chargers, bedding, blankets, etc. This will help you avoid the feeling of being rushed and any last-minute packing woes.
- Label Your Moving Boxes – It’s smart to label every box you bring. Sure, they’re all going to the same place, but it’ll save you from opening every box to find one or two needed items.
- Ask Family and Friends for Help – It never hurts to ask for help. So why not ask the people you love? Packing is a big job and it helps to have another set of helpful hands. They can also offer objective opinions on what you should and shouldn’t bring.
- Don’t Bring Out-of-Season Clothes – If you plan on stopping back home before cold weather comes, you’re better off leaving behind your coat and other winter gear. When the time comes, you’ll have the opportunity to switch out your wardrobe.
- Don’t Skimp on Toiletries – From towels to toothpaste, make sure you are plenty stocked with bathroom essentials. You never know when you’ll have a chance to get to the store, especially during a big move.
Western Resources to Get Your Started
When you think of “college needs,” items like pencils, textbooks and new bookbags probably come first to mind.
While it’s good to focus on those, it’s important to also mentally prepare for the college experience.
Registration and Academic Plan Training Videos – Western offers registration and academic plan training videos to walk you through the steps needed to get you ready for college.
Campus Tour – Schedule a campus tour to familiarize yourself with the culture and amenities. Western offers a virtual campus tour and an interactive map to help potential students get better acquainted at their convenience.
Capitalize Before College
Before you think about college, think about summer.
Enjoy your time having fun and being with friends, but also devote a little bit of that time toward preparation. From building your résumé to taking advantage of early college programs, a little prep will go a long way in getting you ahead of your academics – and your future.