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How to make the most out of your summer before college

When I was a high school senior, the approaching summer filled me with a mix of excitement and apprehension. I vividly remember the anxiety I felt when the calendar flipped from May to June. I wasn’t ready to end my high school years just yet, deeply upset at the thought of leaving my friends and family in NYC. I also feared the drastic transition from high school to college. My mind was filled with a lot of what-if’s and doubts about my freshman year.  

Despite my initial dread, I resolved to approach the summer before college with a purpose. I crafted a bucket list of achievable goals aimed at fostering a positive mindset for the journey ahead. Here’s a glimpse into my summer bucket list:

  1. Explore a new destination.

In my bucket list, I prioritized traveling since I craved a sense of adventure. There’s more to the world than NYC, and I wanted to explore the places I’ve dreamt of going. I love discovering new places and creating wonderful memories with my friends and family that I can look back on – and you can too! Whether it’s trying out a new restaurant, hiking, or going abroad, the world is your oyster!

Here’s a picture that I took of the River Liffey when I went to Ireland after graduation:

2. Earn some cash before college.

College can be very expensive. Picking up a part-time job before your first semester can help pay for personal expenses. For a few weeks, I worked as a graphic designer for a company and was able to save up a few extra dollars for college. Working a part-time job is also a great opportunity to learn how to budget in college, so you can balance how much you spend and have an emergency fund for unexpected expenses.

3. Work on a hobby you love, or pick up a new one!

With ample free time at my disposal, I dedicated myself to honing existing hobbies and exploring new interests. I spent a few weeks reading books and writing reflections on the books I read. Whether strumming chords on a guitar, mastering knitting techniques, or dabbling in painting, make sure to set the time to work on your skills. You can also pick up a new hobby that you’ve always wanted to try before! College can get busy, and you might not have the time to focus on your hobby during the school year.

4. Spend quality time with family and friends.

Once high school ends, everyone goes their separate ways. If you’re moving far away from home, make sure to arrange picnics or beach days with your closest friends! I arranged a lot of city adventures with my friends and family, taking pictures of ourselves for a memory to look back on. Once the school year starts, it can be difficult to arrange hangouts during breaks since everyone will have different schedules. Don’t forget to spend as much time with your family, too. You’ll miss having them around once you dorm!

Here’s a photo that I took of Sheep Meadow in Central Park when I went out with my friends that summer:

Looking ahead, I encourage you to ponder your own summer before college bucket list. What experiences do you wish to cherish before embarking on this new chapter of your life?

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