Pre-College Bucket List

What to do before you have to start ‘adulting’

Maddie Geib, Student Writer

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If you’re a senior, you are well aware of the approaching graduation date. You’ve started to finalize your plans for after high school and have begun to count down the days, but have you thought about what to do after? After you’ve been handed your diploma and throw your cap in the air, what’s next? You may be eager to leave, but there are a lot of things to be done before you can, especially if you’re heading off to college. Here’s a list of some of the most important pre-college tasks.


  1. Create your resume

You probably want to spend your last summer relaxing, but some time needs to be spent doing less exciting things. If you haven’t already needed to create a resume for job or college applications, then it would be useful for you to have one for college. Almost all jobs and internships require you to have one. Continue to update your resume every few years to keep it relevant.


  1. Connect with your roommate

Unless you are commuting or living off campus, you’re going to have to share your dorm with one or a couple of people. You may know your roommate personally, not know them at all, or only have read a small paragraph about them. Either way, getting to know your roommate before move in day is important. You can chat over text or meet in person if you can. You should try to get along before living in a small, square room together.


  1. Register for classes

All schools require slightly different steps you have to take before starting the year. One thing all colleges require is for you to register for your classes…obviously. The earlier you register, the better chance you have of getting the classes you want.


  1. Clean out your closet

College dorm rooms are small and have very limited storage. You won’t be able to bring all twenty-one of your tie dye t-shirts or four pairs of white sneakers. The summer after graduating, take time to clean out your wardrobe. Decide which clothing pieces you want to bring with you and donate anything you don’t wear. You’re going to need to make room for all of your new college apparel anyways.


  1. Spend time with friends and family

Depending on what school you’re attending, you won’t be able to drive home and see your family often. Your friends may be hours away too. You will end up regretting it if you don’t spend a lot of time with them before you leave, especially your pets.


  1. Learn how to be an adult

Some high schoolers are going to have a hard time transitioning into an independent college life. Mrs. Cindy Lewis, a guidance counselor at Pennridge High School agrees. For seniors whose parents still do everything for them, they need to learn “how to do laundry, cooking basic meals, and how to shop”, because it is quite an adjustment. Take some adulting lessons. You should at least learn how to start a washing machine before you leave.


  1. Make a change

This is the best time for you to reinvent yourself or take a risk you wouldn’t have before. You are going to know little to no one and people won’t know what you were like before. Dye your hair, change your style, completely change your image. It doesn’t matter who you were before.


  1. Get a summer job

If it wasn’t already obvious, college is expensive. According to the New America Foundation, in the graduating class of 2018, “69% of college students took out student loans, and they graduated with an average debt of $29,800, including both private and federal debt”. College debt is almost unavoidable, but getting a head start on saving could help you in the future. Some job ideas include working at a restaurant, summer camp, or pool.


  1. Relax

After four years, you’re finally done. Celebrate that by letting yourself relax for possibly the first time in those four years. There are a lot of things to be done, but you should still make time for yourself. You deserve it.


  1. Anticipate the best year to come

College can be some of the best years of your life when you choose to make it that way. It’s a time for finding yourself and discovering your passions. Being able to study something you are interested in doing for the rest of your life is exciting. Be excited about this big change.


Attending a college or university isn’t the only path you can take. Lauren Good, a freshman at Niagara University, suggests that you should take time to think about what you really want. You shouldn’t feel obligated to further your education in the traditional way if it isn’t right for you. “If you want to take a gap year, do it. If you want to go to community college, do it. No one knows what’s best for you besides you”.