Six ideas for getting the most out of the summer before college

by Hannah Robinson | Jun 21, 2018

June 21, 2018

Six-Ways-to-Prepare-for-First-Year

You’ve graduated from high school, and this fall, you’ll embark on one of the most exciting adventures of young adulthood: your first year at college. But how can you prepare for college over the summer? 

While it may feel tempting to use your free time to familiarize yourself with the entire Netflix catalog, the summer between high school and college offers the perfect opportunity to arrive on campus feeling a little more prepared for the exciting road ahead. Here are just a few smart ways to spend your free time this summer in preparation for your new home at Marian:   

  • Shadow someone for a day. One of the most valuable things you can bring to the classroom isn’t in a textbook or an Internet browser window: it’s real-world experience. This summer, reach out to a local professional in the field you want to study and ask if you can “shadow” them on the job for a day or two, or even simply meet for coffee to talk about their own academic and professional trajectory. A behind-the-scenes view of someone’s career can be illuminating in ways you might not expect. (And, if you’re feeling torn between majors, shadowing can be a great way to find out whether a particular field is for you.) 
  • Plan your extracurriculars. A well-rounded college experience is about so much more than classes. This summer is a perfect time to start reflecting on what you want out of your campus life outside the classroom. Think about the campus clubs and organizations you want to join: are you curious about student government? Athletics? Mathematics or marching band? Marian has a number of active student groups on campus, and now is a great time to research them or reach out to their organizers with questions.  
  • Volunteer in your community. The summer between high school and college can leave students with a lot of extra time on their hands. Why not use that time for good? Volunteering not only allows you to positively impact your community, but also to meet and interact with others you might not otherwise cross paths with. 
  • Learn a language. Learning a second language is becoming increasingly important in our globalizing culture, not to mention the workforce. Research says that it takes about 480 hours to achieve basic proficiency in languages like French, Italian, Spanish, and German. Why not get a head-start this summer? With apps like DuoLingo available for free, you can easily invest a little time every day in picking up a second language. This will prove especially invaluable if you’re thinking about pursuing one of our study abroad programs
  • Read, read, read. No matter what you choose as your major, a solid foundation of reading comprehension will benefit your college classroom experience in myriad ways. Take advantage of your free time to revisit the classics you read in middle and high school (perhaps without the SparkNotes this time) or catch up on the more recent essentials of contemporary literature. And don’t forget the news: as a young, independent adult and soon-to-be scholar, it’s critical to understand your place in the world and what’s going on around you.
  • Seek out new ways to take care of yourself. Your first year of college will be thrilling and fulfilling. It will also be stressful at times: between rigorous coursework, learning to manage your time, and generally transitioning into adulthood, there will be times where it’s important to know how to take care of yourself. Whether that means picking up a running route, downloading a meditation app, or joining a local yoga studio, take this summer to find the self-care strategies that work most effectively for you. They’ll come in handy for the rest of your life. 
Meeting people through student government
Getting involved in student government helped Oluwabanwo Adeniyi '21 feel like she’s part of the campus community.
Watch Bami's story
Building relationships with faculty and coaches
After he explored his college options, Conor Smith '20 decided to choose Marian because of his interest in athletics and exercise science.
Read Conor's story
Following her dream to be a dentist
After graduating cum laude with Marian's Class of 2017, Chrislyn (Church) Fite is well on her way.
Read Chrislyn's story

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