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How to Spend Your Last Summer Before College

The last summer before college is a special time. You're done with high school and ready to start the next chapter. Make sure you enjoy it with these tips!

The summer before your first year of college might be the last time you’ll be in the same place as your high school friends, or the last break before you begin to “adult” and do grown-up things. It’s time to make some plans before the craziness of college begins! Here are a few productive but fun ideas to overcome the summer slump leading up to life as a college freshman.

Take a summer course at your local community college

Depending on the college you’ll be attending and how many AP classes and dual enrollment courses you completed in high school, taking a general education course at a community college over the summer couldn’t hurt. It may free up one extra class you have to take later at your school, and if you’re going in undeclared, it’s a nice way to explore more options without feeling like you’re behind. Plus, community college courses are considerably more affordable than private college courses, and some may count both as electives and gen eds, depending on the school.

Related: 5 Tips for Summer Courses to Avoid Ruining Your Break

Partake in an internship

Once you’re out of college, employers want to hire someone with experience. They’ll look at your past jobs and any skills you picked up while working. And the best way to know if you want to pursue your ideal major or career is to learn by doing. Job shadowing and helping out at a business, gallery, or hospital will give you a sense for whether that sort of position is something that’s interesting to you or not. Some positions are on a strictly volunteer basis, while others may be paid. Either way, you’ll definitely learn a thing or two.

Find a summer job

Working over the summer is what many students decide to do, since it pays and gives you real-world experience. With all the free time away from classes, working can be a good idea for those who want to earn some extra money to offset the costs of their first year in college. Don’t be discouraged against finding a new job when you only have a couple of months. Many employers understand that students can’t be there long term but are still open to hiring someone with potential. And if you decide to return next summer, they may be happy to rehire you.

Related: The Best Job Apps for Teens and New Grads

Take an educational vacation

Going on a vacation is great and all, but wouldn’t it be even better if you could learn something too? If you’re a prospective Political Science major, take a trip to Washington, DC. If you’re an English major, try visiting a publishing house in New York City. If you’re a Biochemistry major, go find a science museum. There are so many options to explore and delve into your major or area of interest, so what better way than to travel and find out? Many trips may be just a short drive away, giving you more time to venture and soak in your interests.

Learn a few new things

There’s no shame in taking a break from school or your job for a couple of months. You may feel pressured to go out and work or intern all summer, but don’t feel like you have to. Instead, teach yourself to do the things you’ve always wanted to do. If you’ve always wanted to learn how to paint, buy a paintbrush and teach yourself how to. Or learn how to code using fun coding apps from your phone or online. There are also many language apps like Duolingo and Babbel that are built for beginning language learners. Try out several new hobbies and you may find a hidden passion.

Related: 7 Ways to Have a Productive Summer

Hopefully these ideas will help you plan out your summer. Go into it knowing you have successfully graduated high school and have the opportunity to increase your knowledge and expertise in college in just a few short weeks! 

Find more ways to have a productive and fun summer using the "Summer" tag below!

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About Kaleena Wong

Kaleena Wong is an undergraduate student studying Geography, Environment, and Planning. As a lifelong bibliophile, she enjoys reading classic literature alongside a hot cup of tea. When she isn't busy reading or studying for classes, she enjoys taking walks in especially brisk weather.


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