The summer before college is a time of firsts and lasts. It’s a period for goodbyes and endings, as well as for hellos and new beginnings. For me, college wasn’t the first time I was leaving my friends and family for a while, but it was my first chance to be independent and make choices for myself. The level of responsibility in college was way above the level I’d had in high school, which made my ‘last summer before college’ both a last hurrah and a great chance to better myself and get ready for my new life.

In that time, I had a few great experiences that really helped me get ready for school. I traveled, I did a lot of reading, and I set up some healthy lifestyle patterns to bring to college. I also had fun, spending time at the beach and with my high school friends. Today I’m sharing a summer before college bucket list to help you make the most of this summer, too!

The Summer Before College Bucket List

Connect with your future roommate

Spend some time over email or even in person connecting with your future roommate. Since you’ll be sharing a room and, to some extent, a life with this person for the next year, it’s important that you get to know each other well! The summer is a great time to chat and figure out some basic do’s and don’ts for living together. Plus you get the chance to coordinate your dorm decor, if you want!

Shop for school supplies

Am I the only one who goes nuts for school supplies every year? Whether you need cheap school supplies or are looking for my absolute favorites, I’ve got you covered! The summer is a great time to buy these supplies because they’re much more widely available (and cheaper!) than during the school year.

Spend time with your high school friends

Like it or not, things are going to change from here on out. While you and your high school friends may stay friends forever, the distance and time apart will affect your friendship (for worse or better!). Take this chance to really spend time with them and enjoy the fun and freedom that you have before college starts.

Take a trip

Whether to a nearby beach or park, or across the country, get out of your comfort zone and explore someplace new. It’s always fun to travel with friends, so maybe combine this item with the one above it and plan a trip with your high school gang.

Get into a health routine

College places a lot of stress on the mind and body, so getting into healthy patterns before that pressure sets in is a good idea. Consider meeting with your doctor and talking about healthy food and exercise for this new chapter of your life, and try to implement her advice into your routine. There’s no need to drastically alter what you’re doing, but taking some time to establish healthy patterns will save you a lot of trouble in the long run!

Prep for School

Take some time this summer to do any summer reading, registration work, or academic preparation to get ready for starting college soon. If your school issued a reading assignment or if you’ll be taking any placement exams, be sure to give yourself some time to prepare rather than waiting until the end of the summer.

Enjoy Life

Whether it’s a hobby, physical activity, sightseeing, or just hanging out with your friends watching TV, be sure to take some time for yourself to have fun this summer. College is tough, and it’s important to come in well-rested. There’s no need to stress about things that haven’t happened yet, so while it’s important to get ready for the start of the school year, there’s no need to obsess. You have lots of opportunity ahead of you!

This is an exciting time, so don’t let it pass you by. Make the most of this summer and try to make it one to remember!

Sara Laughed

Sara is the founder of College Compass and an alumna of Wellesley College and Oxford University. She runs the popular blog Sara Laughed. Her greatest aspiration is to live a creative life fueled by love and coffee. Follow her onTwitter and Instagram at @SaraLaughed.