How to Prepare for College During the Last Days of Summer

The end of summer and your first semester of college is coming faster than you think. Follow these tips to make sure you aren't behind before the school year even starts.

The end of summer is coming faster than you think. Are you heading off to college in a few weeks? Follow these seven tips to make sure you aren’t behind before your first semester even starts.

1. Relax!

Let’s start off with an easy task: just take some time for yourself! Maybe take time to update your back-to-school wardrobe, try out some new skincare products, visit that fried chicken and waffles restaurant you’ve been dying to try, or whatever your heart desires.

2. Complete that summer homework

Some of the courses you’ll be taking in the fall may have some summer homework assigned. Check the syllabus to find out if you have any. This homework could be online multiple-choice questions, some required reading, or a drugs and/or alcohol online class. Take time to do as little as one question a day as the school year rapidly approaches, and you’ll have time to enjoy the transition to college and not struggle to submit your online assignments the minute before class starts.

3. Refresh your math skills

The realization that you need to take math (ugh, calculus) in college to graduate may make you want to drop out altogether. However, just taking a few minutes each day to relearn how to multiply functions together, take the derivative of exponential functions, or even add numbers (hopefully not, though?) can really make that 5:00 pm Linear Algebra class that much less dreadful. I personally used sites like YouTube and Khan Academy to prepare for my own college math classes. I really like Khan Academy because it can vigorously prepare you for subjects even above traditional high school levels, such as differential calculus and linear algebra. For STEM majors, Khan Academy even features classes on organic chemistry, electrical engineering, and computer science.

4. Create a professional profile

In college, there are absolutely obscene amounts of networking opportunities available to you. At the University of Oregon, there’s a required class for Journalism majors called “Media Professions” in which every week professional journalists come in to talk about their profession and why they love it so much. Seems like a perfect time to pull out those business cards and LinkedIn connection requests, no?

Okay, while the business cards may seem a tad presumptuous, you see my point. After four or five years at your institution of choice, it would be pretty awful to walk away without any professional opportunities lined up for you. If you’re not sure where to start, you can learn how to build a LinkedIn profile here.

5. Finalize the details

With all this relaxing that you’re doing, it can be difficult to get yourself up out of your chosen area of comfort (warm bed, cozy La-Z-Boy®, what have you) to do “boring” paperwork, like transcripts, photo IDs, orientation registration, and travel plans. Whatever your feelings on the abundance of paperwork you have to file in order to pass through those gilded gates of post-secondary education, it’s better to do it sooner rather than later. Your college should have a to-do list for incoming students or some kind of admitted freshman checklist to complete before the school year begins. While writing this article, I Googled “UO to do list freshman” and found a list at the top of the screen. It was that simple.

Usually these lists will include topics such as submitting a photo for your ID card, finalizing transcripts, and sending in copies of your immunization records. These things vary for every college.

Something else that’s important to consider, however, is figuring out your travel plans for move-in day if you’re planning to live on campus. Your college might email your student email account (which you should be checking daily) a specific time for you to move into your dorm. I live a few hours from the University of Oregon, for example, and I’m slotted to move in around 9:00 am. This means my family and I will have to get up before the sun shines to move into my dorm, but this opens up a whole new range of questions. When exactly should we leave? How bad will the traffic be? Will my siblings get carsick halfway through the trip, and what should we do then?

In short: be prepared for anything.

6. Make memories with friends and family

The summer after high school (your last one before college) is really special. Take advantage of these last few weeks at home and spend time with your family and friends. Making plans can be as simple as a night in with some board games or a road trip to the beach.

College is going to be so fun—but also expensive. Start searching for scholarships now on CollegeXpress!

Like what you’re reading?

Join the CollegeXpress community! Create a free account and we’ll notify you about new articles, scholarship deadlines, and more.

Join Now


About Ryan Nguyen

Ryan Nguyen is a high school senior in the wonderfully wet Pacific Northwest. Perpetually cheerful, he plans to study Journalism and International Economics in the verdant forests of the University of Oregon. Sco Ducks!


Join our community of
over 5 million students!

CollegeXpress has everything you need to simplify your college search, get connected to schools, and find your perfect fit.

Join CollegeXpress
Joseph Johnsly

Joseph Johnsly

High School Class of 2021

It's an honor for me to be writing to share a little about my experience with CollegeXpress. I've been using CollegeXpress for about a year now, and the reason why I chose it is because it provides astonishing scholarships for every student around the globe. Besides that, this organization dispenses all the information necessary to help students get to college. CollegeXpress has helped me have an easier experience with applying to colleges and choosing the best fit for myself.

Maya Ingraham

Maya Ingraham

October 2021 Mini Scholarship Winner, Class of 2022

CollegeXpress has given me more confidence in my college process. With easy-to-access resources and guidance such as the CX Weekly Roundup, I have been able to find the best colleges for me. Most importantly, there’s a surplus of scholarship opportunities for every student to support their education.

Farrah Macci

Farrah Macci

High School Class of 2016

CollegeXpress has helped me in many ways. For one, online searches are more organized and refined by filtering scholarships through by my personal and academic interests. Due to this, it has made searching for colleges and scholarships significantly less stressful. As a student, life can already get stressful pretty quickly. For me, it’s been helpful to utilize CollegeXpress since it keeps all of my searches and likes together, so I don’t have to branch out on multiple websites just to explore scholarship options.

Jada Bohanon

Jada Bohanon

High School Class of 2021

CollegeXpress has helped me find scholarships for the colleges I applied to. It was very hard for me to find scholarships in the beginning that I was qualified for. My teachers recommended this website to find some, and not only did I find some scholarships but I also got to look into some schools I hadn’t heard of before. I was very happy to have discovered this website, especially with the coronavirus spreading all over as I can’t really go visit many colleges.

Kelly Nogueiro

Kelly Nogueiro


For me, CollegeXpress has given me a valuable tool to use with my students to explore colleges easily beyond objective data. It helps me find colleges for students that fit their needs and wants that aren’t quite so black and white. It's a wealth of knowledge, and the Type-A side of me loves all the lists and the fact that I know they're coming from folks who know what they're talking about. I share it with colleagues and students alike, and it's always well received.

College Matches

Colleges You May Be Interested In

Saint John's University

Collegeville, MN

Lewis University

Romeoville, IL

University of San Francisco

San Francisco, CA