after spending this past school year away from home at a “boarding” school, (read more about that here or here) I’ve realized that there are a handful of things I wish I would have taken advantage of or done while I was home. while I’m only three and a half hours from home, I don’t get home as often as I would like and therefore really feel as though I’m experiencing the college life two years early. so, to the class of 2016 and all those behind you, I hope that you will take these ideas and make the most of the time you have home - because even the last three months before move in day can be savored.
my roommate and I on move-in day, august 2015
Appreciate Your Mom’s Cooking
I don’t think you’ll ever realize how amazing my mom’s cooking is, let alone a home cooked meal, until you are standing in the cafeteria and do not know what the heck to eat because nothing looks appetizing and you’ve already had your staple meal, a quesadilla, for lunch just a few hours ago. and while some days are better than others, I can promise you that you will wish at least once a week that you were back home with your family, sitting at your kitchen table, eating your mom’s famous casserole or a nice, juicy and well seasoned piece of chicken.
what to do with the time you do have left: utilize the full kitchen you still have, eat all the
fresh fruits and veggies, learn how to cook your mom’s greatest and easiest meals, and
Note: I understand that some colleges have out of this WORLD food, but I also know from stories and experience that others could do a lot better. either way, still take advantage of your mom’s cooking.
Spend Time With Your Close Friends
once you and your best friends have been sprawled all across the country, it won’t be the easiest thing to stay in touch and find time to talk - you’ll all be on different schedules, doing different things, possibly in different time zones. while you’re still home, cut out time to spend with them, making lasting memories, and talking about what the future holds. you don’t need to make any crazy plans for #SpringBreak2017 too far in advance, but try and find times throughout the year that your schedules might overlap so that you might find time to talk to one another in person.
what to do with the time you do have left: make lasting memories, take (and print!) lots
of pictures, and laugh lots
Clear Out Your Bedroom
granted, while you’re packing up all your things to move in to your dorm, you’ll definitely find stashes of things that you realize should have been thrown away YEARS ago - but, go ahead and clean your drawers, bookshelves, and closet, getting rid of things you aren’t taking to college or old bits and pieces. when you come home to change out wardrobes, you won’t want to deal with messy and unorganized drawers, because it will make the process that much harder.
what to do with the time you do have left: grab your mom or a good friend, a couple of
trash bags, and get working. make piles of things that you’ll give away, (maybe a pile of
things to sell), and things that just have to go. if it’s something you don’t take to college
that first trip, go ahead and put it into a pile - if it isn’t something you’re taking to
college, it’s probably something that isn’t too near and dear to your heart.
leaving the house means that there’s no one there to wake you up in the morning, remind you when classes start or when your next meeting is. you’re left on your own to make sure your laundry is done and that you always have a clean towel in the bathroom. with these new responsibilities comes a new sense of independence, so let’s kickstart that feeling while you’re still in the comfort of your own home
what to do with the time you do have left: learn how to do the essential tasks on your
own! i.e., laundry, cleaning the sink/bathroom, become familiar with your class schedule.
Read Books off Your “Must Read” List
i absolutely love reading, but since coming to school, have run out of time to really read for myself. at the end of a long day, the absolute last thing I want to do is stare at a book and use my brain to understand what the heck is going on in the fifth Harry Potter book. while during some parts of the year, reading is appropriate and isn’t as much of a “hassle,” I still wish that I had more time. so for all those who love reading as much (or more!) than I do …
what to do with the time you do have left: make a list of the few books that you’ve been
waiting to read for months, get them from the library or a bookstore, and get reading!
read at the end of the day, on the beach, at a coffee shop, etc. also, get a couple of books
to bring along to college with you that are easy and fun reads to help you on those nights
where you can’t get to sleep or when you just need to destress for a few minutes.
while this isn’t everything you should do before you pack up and head to college, it’s a pretty simple list of things you could add to your summer bucket list! enjoy and savor the time you still have at home, and always remember that home will always be there.