Parent College Coach Tip #111: A To-Do List for the Summer Before College

summer before college

The summer before college is a busy time. Parents have a to-do list a mile long. Students are focused on spending time with friends. Preparing for college is pushed to the back of their mind until the end of the summer. Frustration abounds for both parties because agendas are completely different.

Before your student leaves for college, however, you at least need to complete these five tasks on your to-do list.

Attend orientation

Orientation is an important part of adjusting to college, for both you and your student. Make plans now to attend orientation. Travel arrangements should be made early before the summer begins.

Discuss money

Help your student create a budget and discuss how you expect them to handle their spending money. Discuss credit card debt because these companies prey on college students.

Contact future roommates

It’s easy to connect with roommates now on social media, snapchat or via facetime or skype. Encourage your student to have a conversation about dorm essentials—who brings what. And a conversation of expectations–who cleans the bathroom; what are the rules for guests, etc. Making this connection before arriving on campus will make the transition easier.

Get ready for dorm life

Overpacking is a common problem for soon-to-be college students. Make a list of essentials and stick to it. Dorm rooms are small and space is limited.

Get health matters in order

Check to see if your student is up to date on all shots required for college. If she is taking any prescription drugs, get those in order as well. Get a copy of her health records if they are ever needed when she is at college and scout out doctors in your network. Most student health centers aren’t’ equipped to handle emergencies.

These are the bare essentials you need to do to prepare for college. You should also consider having discussions about risky behavior, making time for a family vacation, and as always, continue to search for scholarships.




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Author: Suzanne Shaffer

Suzanne Shaffer advises parents and students in the college admissions process and the importance of early college preparation at She is excited to share her knowledge with the readers of Smart College Visit.

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