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Your Summer Before College Checklist: All You Need to Know and Do

The summer before college comes with a lot of excitement. You have graduated high school and gotten through the college-picking process, and now you are ready to continue your journey. As you pack your bags and get ready to make new friends, experience a new place, and pursue your dream career, you grow more and more eager to step foot on campus.

Amidst all the excitement, though, you’ve also got a lot to think about, and it can be overwhelming to make sure you have everything ready to tackle this new stage in your life. That’s why we’ve compiled for you this one-stop shop where you can learn all you need to do to prepare for your upcoming college career! Here are a few things to put on your pre-college checklist.

7 Things to Do Before College Starts 

1. Set Up Your College Email 

Remember to set up your college email a few weeks before the semester begins! Professors often contact you before the semester officially starts with important information about things like textbooks, assignments, and the first day of class. Setting up your student email account also allows you to check for updates from the university. Be sure to check your email regularly for announcements about things like campus jobs, athletics, and student life activities.

2. Connect With Your Roommate

Ask your admissions advisor to get you in contact with your roommate! Connecting with your roommate over the summer helps you avoid an awkward meeting during the already-busy process of moving into your dorm room. Try to call or text your roommate to see if you can meet for coffee or go dorm shopping together to get to know each other before you begin living college life together.

3. Make a College Dorm Room Checklist

Plan ahead for everything you need to make your dorm feel like a home away from home. Moving to a new place can be intimidating, so keeping track of each item you will need can help you feel more organized. Remember to pack necessities, like bedsheets, towels, and a desk lamp, as well as the personal touches that will make the room feel like your space, like pictures, posters, or plants. Coordinate with your roommate to figure out who will bring what for items like trash cans, carpets, or lamps!

4. Prepare for Academic Success

Remember what it was like to bring a list from your school to the store and go back to school shopping with your mom? Well, that’s still an important step for college prep. Check to make sure you have all the required textbooks for every class, and finish any summer reading. Make sure your laptop is ready for accessing course portals and writing lots of papers. Review your syllabi to prevent syllabus shock, and organize your assignments and activities into a journal, calendar, or some other way that will help you keep track of your schedule.

5. Invest in Your Extra-Curricular Life

While college is definitely a time to grow academically, it is also a time for you to grow as a person. Take time to think about finding a mentor to wisely and lovingly help you navigate your college years. Look up churches near your college and pick a few to visit so you can find a church to connect with and attend while you are away from your home church. Search through the student clubs and organizations at your college to find ways to get involved in campus life right away. Colleges exist for you to learn both inside the classroom and out!

6. Fill Out Important Forms

It is important to enter college knowing you have filled out all the necessary paperwork. Double-check that all your financial aid documents are filled out and accurate, that your health insurance is on the right plan, and that you have all the physical health requirements your college asks for. It will save you headaches later.

7. Spend Time with Friends and Family

Before you enter this exciting new stage in life, be sure to invest time where you still are now. Spend time in your community at home before embarking on your college journey. There’s a lot of change coming up, so give yourself grace and space to relax and spend time with loved ones.

Prepare for Success in College and Beyond: Choose Cairn University

With all the time and effort you put into choosing, getting ready for, and attending a college, it is important you choose a place dedicated to pouring time and effort right back into you. 

Cairn University is committed to creating a strong community and fostering student success. At Cairn, we prioritize bringing students together to form lifelong friendships and serve Christ together and providing students with a biblically-focused education that prepares them to build careers across the globe.

Do you want to learn more about what it looks like to walk a different path? To find out more about Cairn, you can request more information, or connect with an admissions counselortoday. You can also experience what it is like to be a part of our community by attending an event


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