5 Tips for a Great High School Senior Summer

By: Tina Shaffer

It’s that time of year again; high school seniors are walking across a stage and being handed their diplomas. This summer is one of the most important summers that many teenagers experience. It is the transition between the protective halls of high school and the beacon of independence that is college life. We wanted to share five tips from our educators on staff on how to best use your summer to enjoy the days you have left and prepare for the adventure ahead.

1. Read books…a lot of them.

Reading is an essential skill for college students. And reading in college is more than just a few pages a day. Depending on your major, you may be required to read 100 pages or more each week for each class.  Practice reading books this summer.  Read books that interest you and books that bore you to pieces. It’s important that you practice forcing yourself to read and study now. One thing about college is that once you fall behind in a course, catching up is terribly difficult. You probably didn’t have to read this much in high school and if you don’t do a little practice this summer, then you’ll start off with an uphill battle.

2. Get organized.

If you aren’t already the kind of person that has a notebook for everything, become that person now. Take this summer to start using a day planner (or the calendar app on your phone). College life brings with it a lot of opportunity to fill up your schedule, but if you aren’t careful it can get a bit overwhelming to keep up with your social life and your study schedule. Keeping a calendar will help you see where you are spending your time and make sure that you don’t overextend yourself.

3. Research organizations on campus.

Look at your school’s student activities website and discover all of the opportunities for you to get involved on campus. College life is more than just studying (though there should be a lot of studying!), the most successful students are those that choose to get involved in campus as well as focus on their academic courses. Whether it’s Greek Life, academic organizations, club sports, or a University Level DI Team, you can certainly find (or start) an organization on campus that will make your college experience richer and more fun.

4.  Spend time with your family and friends.

Most students headed to college will be moving away from home. That means that this summer is one of the last opportunities you will have to spend lots of quality time (other than holidays) with those that have been closest to you for the past four years. It is summer vacation, so take some time to relax before you head off into the great unknown this fall.

5. Go shopping.

Dorm rooms usually aren’t that big, but yours will be your home for at least the next nine months. Take the time to make sure you have the essentials to make your room a comfortable and enjoyable place to be. Don’t go overboard though: you do have to share that space with someone else. Making your dorm room a welcoming place to study, sleep and relax with your friends will help keep you on the path to success throughout the year. Besides, who doesn’t need bedding, a chair, a waste basket, rug, school supplies, and bath robe all in the same crazy shade of pink?!

When approached in the right way, this summer can be both fun and prepare you for the year ahead.  The most important part of the summer is to remember that you’ll never have this summer again, so make the most of it!