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15 things to do the summer before college starts

June 11, 2013 | Ashli O'Connell

You’ve finally got that high school diploma in hand, summer is in full force and there’s not much left to do but mark days off the calendar until it’s time to load up and head off to college. For freshmen and transfer students enrolling at Evangel University this fall, the big day is August 23, 2013. The residence halls will open at 8 a.m., as hundreds of new students arrive and EULaunch 2013 officially begins.

We know you’re itching to leave now (hey, we’re excited for you to arrive, too!), but you’ve still got a couple of months to burn. So we’ve compiled a list of things to do that will help you countdown the seemingly endless days and prepare to start college on top of your game.

1. Have your car checked out.
You don’t need a car at Evangel, so don’t worry if you don’t have one. (Everything on campus is within walking distance, and Evangel students are great at sharing rides to church, Walmart, or wherever you may need to go.) But if you do have a car, now is the time to get a tune-up and make sure everything is in working order for the school year. While you’re at it, learn how to check the oil and change a tire. You’ll thank us later for this one.

2. Schedule a medical checkup.
You and your car both need a little checkup to be in tip-top shape for your first year of college. Schedule an appointment with your doc and take care of any issues now so you don’t have to worry about them once classes start. Don’t forget to download the health form and complete the health requirements, or you won’t be allowed to move in. That would not be cool.

3. Get organized financially.
Once you arrive on campus, you want to get busy making friends and connecting with students and faculty in your academic department. You don’t want to be held up by pesky financial aid issues. So take some time now to go through your My Financial Aid portal and be sure you have completed everything in the Your Documents tab. You won’t be allowed to financially register until this step is completed.

4. Upgrade your tech.
Upgrade your phone and laptop, make sure you’ve got good, strong batteries, and maybe download Skype so you can stay connected with family and friends next semester. (Evangel has plenty of computer labs, so a laptop isn’t necessarily a must-have —  but if you have one, be sure it’s ready to go.) Get all the tools in place to stay connected.

5. Learn to do laundry.
We’ve got a little bad news for you here: Mom is not coming along to do laundry. Remember all those times you only pretended to pay attention while she taught you about sorting whites and colors, and how to know whether or not to use cold or hot water? Now’s the time to fess up and ask for another tutorial. Take notes if you must so you don’t end up turning your favorite white tee pink or shrinking your best pair of jeans. Each residence hall at Evangel has a laundry room with coin-operated washers and dryers.

6. Purchase linens, towels and décor for your room.
Check out the residence hall photos on the website to get some decorating ideas and make note of the room layouts. This place is going to be your home for the next year, so you’ll want to personalize it and make it comfortable. Fortunately, almost all of the major retailers have sales on dorm décor over the summer, so take advantage of it. Now is also a great time to connect with your new roommate and decide important matters like who will bring a fridge and a TV and whether or not you want to adopt a pet fish together.

7. Connect with other incoming students on Facebook.
If you haven’t already, join our Facebook group for new Fall ’13 students. Hundreds of students just like you are there already becoming acquainted and getting psyched to start the college journey together. Join the conversation!

8. Start an exercise routine.
Starting an exercise routine now will get you in the groove for the school year. In addition to making a preemptive strike against the Freshman 15, this is also a healthy way to deal with the anxiety that is common when making a major transition in life – and you’ve got a big one coming.  Once you’re on campus, you’ll have access to the Mabee Center, an incredible facility for working out, to keep up the exercise routine.

9. Organize your room.
If you’re moving onto campus you’ve got to go through everything to pack, making this the ideal time to organize all that stuff that you’ve accumulated throughout 12 years of school. Purge, organize and clean up as you go. Not only will your parents thank you, but you’ll love having a clean place to come home to at break.

10. Work and save money.
This may seem obvious, but commit to saving your money this summer. From books to late-night pizza runs and those little essentials like deodorant and toothpaste, college life comes with a lot of expenses. Here’s a little reality check: Mom and Dad will no longer be there to hand you $20 as you head out the door with friends. Save now so you don’t have financial worries throughout the semester. Work out a budget ahead of time and you’ll save yourself lots of grief come midsemester.

11. Start a journal.
There’s just something about putting pen to paper that helps you preserve and process your thoughts. Use it to set goals for the first year of college, keep a prayer list and chronicle your experiences throughout the transition. You’ll enjoy it now and treasure it later.

12. Read — for fun (while you can).
Reading for pleasure is going to be difficult to fit in once you get that stack of textbooks and the homework starts piling up. So pick up a novel or two, hit the hammock and get lost in the pages.

13. Experience everything you love about your city.
Make a list of your favorite hang-outs around town, and visit one last time. Don’t just sit around bored and waiting for college to start. Enjoy the now. Make some memories.

14. Hang out with your siblings.
You may not believe this one just yet, but you are going to miss your siblings more than you can imagine. Spend quality time this summer storing up laughter and building those bonds.

15. Have a heart-to-heart with your parents.

Make sure you and your parents are on the same page about plans for breaks, how often you’ll communicate (and how) and who is paying for what. This is a major time of transition for all of you, and miscommunication can lead to disappointments and hurt feelings. Communicating expectations and praying together about the upcoming changes will go along way toward making this a smooth transition for the whole family.

There you have it. Work your way through the list and before you know it you’ll be on your way to college, wondering where the time went. As you prepare this summer, be encouraged that the staff and faculty at Evangel are also preparing for your arrival. We’re working hard and praying for God’s blessings upon you and your classmates for an incredible year ahead. If there’s anything we can do to help, please contact us.

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