First of all, take a deep breath. As a graduating senior, you’re in a pocket of time where high school is complete but college has not yet started. Taking advantage of that fact can be a great thing. Here are some ways to make the most of senior summer:
Clean out the closet. Okay, we know this isn’t the most exciting idea. But we highly recommend cleaning out your entire childhood bedroom! You’ll be able to eliminate items you don’t wear/use, need to replace, or anything that no longer represents who you are, which is a low-key way to take stock of your identity before you head off to college.
Get an internship or part-time job. An internship is the perfect way to explore possible career paths, and a part-time job is a great way to save up a little spending money before college.
Take self-defense and CPR classes. A self-defense course may help you feel safer on campus, and a CPR/first-aid class will help you feel ready to deal with emergency situations that might arise. (These opportunities might also be available on your college campus.)
Establish an exercise routine. Colleges have plenty of resources available to help students stay fit (gyms, pools, tennis courts, etc.). However, unless you play a college sport, you’ll have to find the internal motivation to exercise. Establishing a routine now is a healthy habit!
Go dorm-room shopping. Avoid the crushing lines in your university town by doing some dorm-room shopping in advance. Most schools will provide lists of items students will need, so you can determine what you already have and what needs to be purchased.
Read for fun. Browse new books at a library, bookstore, or on your e-reader, which may help you regain an appreciation for reading for pleasure!
Be a local tourist. Spend a day in or around your hometown, doing all the things visitors do that you never seem to get around to.
Spend time with family. Whether it’s a road trip or just sitting down to dinner together, make an effort to spend quality time with your family.
Connect with friends. We know you treasure your high school friendships, but take some extra time to hang out with your closest friends, especially those who won’t be attending college with you in the fall!
Thank the people who have made a difference. Reach out to mentors or other adults who have positively influenced you. You may or may not sustain those relationships once you’re in college, so now’s the time.
Look back on the high school experience. A lot of insight can be gained by reflecting on the high school experience. What lessons did you learn? What changed for you? What has the journey of the last four years looked like?
Start thinking about what’s next. You’re probably already doing a fair amount of thinking/wondering/worrying about what comes next! Use this energy productively by focusing on what you want to get out of the college experience, and how you plan to get there.