Image from Pexels

Image from Pexels

So now you’re graduated, and you feel like the tank fishes at the end of Finding Nemo. You know what I’m talking about:

BLOAT: Come on, Peach!

PEACH: Oooh–aaaaah!

 ALL: Yay! We did it! Ha ha ha ha ha!

Now what? Now for summer! That means the “11 Ways to Get the Most Out of the Summer Before College”, brought to you by TP staffer, Sarah Wiszniak – like dorm shopping, making big plans with friends, and enjoying (arguably) the most blissful downtime you ever, and will ever have. And of course, comes many of the (fun!) prep before college.

As the graduation parties start to thin out, there are some things you can get started on for college, even three to four months before it all happens.

Set Up Your Portal

Your college portal is about to become your best frenemy for the next four years. Soon enough, the two of you will be going through the struggle of registration (or, the academic Hunger Games) and the terrifying suspense of receiving your grades.

But before all that, your college portal (and concurrently, college email) is going to be priceless this summer. As I called it in “Welcome to the (Dot)Edu Portal Life”, this site will be your one-stop for everything pre-frosh.

Though each college’s content will vary slightly, most of them stay pretty consistent. While you’re bombarded with emails about all the things you have to take care of before classes, there’s likely a simplified to-do list of this on your portal – your college needs you to take care of stuff, and they’re going to do what they can to make sure you get it done. Don’t miss deadlines, and take care of everything! This can include anything from medical forms, financial aid documents, registration, your ID photo, and so on.

The Roommate Search

The TP staff’s consensus? Either meet people through Facebook groups, or go random! Definitely avoid unnecessary programs (or even scams) that ask you to sign up on some site, and even charge you, to match up with roommates. Just because people make a perfect match on a typical roommate survey, doesn’t mean you’ll live well together.

“How do I find someone to live with through the internet?!” We’ve got you. Your university’s Facebook group might be huge – thousands and tens of thousands of people to go through! One popular way is by looking “at the people most active on the site” and going from there, as freshman Natalie says. Add them and strike up a chat conversation! If things are going well, ask to set up a Skype meeting, to decide if you’re comfortable with one another.

If you know you want a specific housing, such as one just for your major, make a post on the group wall about it, and go from there. It’s easier than running through a lot of people who are looking into other residential options.

If searching for your dorm-soulmate(s) sounds scary or stressful, consider going random. Residential life offices at most colleges are very considerate of how they match roommates, based off of your dorm survey, and sometimes academic factors, like your program or major.

A Few Other Things to Keep in Mind:


As soon as your fellow graduates start posting photos from their own orientations, you’ll be absolutely itching to attend yours. Check in with your adviser or handy-dandy college portal about your orientation options, and how to register for those. Some schools have required orientation programs, where you’ll do many “to-dos” listed above: taking your college ID photo, take placement exams, and registering for courses.

Orientations vary greatly by school, and missing yours could mean missing out on courses you need, and some great socialization with your future class.

And the End Stretch

Pack and make travel arrangements! Whether “leaving for college” means a fifteen-minute drive from home, to booking a flight across the country, it’ll take at least a good week to get your stuff situated for the move. Check out our “moving” tag for our ideas and experiences.

Why not go out with a bang too? While quarter system schools don’t start until September or October, have a fun going-away party before the exodus of semester students in August.

If you’re reading this, that means you’ve come so far, and you’re going to great places. Have a great summer, precollegiates!

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the author

Jo is in her first year of studying biology at Fordham University, with interests in the social sciences, business management, and world domination. Recently returned to New York from 12 years in California, you'll most likely find her adventuring around the city. Residences include the science and humanities departments, running trails, and every coffee shop from here to Narnia. Nobody’s quite sure if she has a heart, but she’s got some sort of pump that moves around the black sludge that is espresso through her veins.

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