Congratulations on wrapping up your senior year of high school! You’ve put in a lot of work to get to this point, and you deserve some celebration.
But, before you kick back and relax for the summer, there are a few things you still need to do to make sure you’re ready for college. If you’re already accepted to a school, here’s what to do.
(And if you’re not already accepted, there’s still time to get in this fall!)
1) Finalize your admission
This may seem like a no-brainer, but with all the exciting things happening around you it’s very easy for little things to fall through the cracks. However these “little things” are extremely important, and can jeopardize your admission if they’re missed.
A great way to make sure you don’t miss anything is to think of it as “what do I need to complete before I arrive on campus this fall.”
To that end, make use of this checklist. Have you….
Accepted your financial aid award?
Checked that you received the largest award possible?
Answered roommate preference surveys? (If you’re living in a dorm.)
Submitted housing and health forms?
Taken subject placement tests?
Keep this list in mind when finalizing your admissions, and you’ll be on the fast track to a great start in the fall.
2) Submit final transcripts and test scores
You’ve worked hard to finish your last semester strong, so it’s time to get those final transcripts in!
Check to make sure you’re following your high school’s and your selected college’s rules for submitting your end of semester grades. Take this time to double check that all your testing scores—such as the SAT and ACT—were submitted properly.
If you’re a Division I or II athlete, keep in mind that the NCAA also needs a copy of your final high school transcript.
Lastly, if you’re on any waitlists, it’s a good idea to send a final transcript to those schools as well. While there’s no guarantee that submitting a final transcript will boost your chances, it doesn’t hurt to try. Keep in mind that there may be limited waitlist activity during the summer.
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3) Register for orientation
The vast majority of schools host some sort of summer orientation program for incoming freshmen. These summer programs are a huge opportunity for you to meet your future classmates, academic advisor, register for fall classes, and gain an overall lay-of-the-land.
Many colleges also have pre-orientation programs that invite small groups of students to come to campus early to participate in fun experiences together. These can include anything from camping trips to neighborhood volunteer work.
If this option is available to you, I would highly recommend it. Having the opportunity to bond with a small group of fellow freshmen before the entire class arrives on campus can make the transition in the fall much easier.
Now that you’re finished with school (or very close to it) I’d like to stress the importance of taking it easy and simply enjoying the time you have before college. You’re moving into a new and exciting chapter of your life come fall, and things will change.
Spend time with your high school friends now. Though they’ll always be your friends, you will all be in different areas, often around the country. Take this time to enjoy each other’s company while you can!
It is also important to make time for your family. Although you may be excited to get out and spread your wings, your family may be equally sad and sentimental about your leaving home. Making time for them not only shows appreciation, but you will value that time much more when you’re in college.