To Do: 25 Things the Summer Before College to Prepare You For the Start

to do list pic

Bear with me as I am a newbie with this whole sending off my chicklet to college. I am certain it was more nerve-wracking for me than it was for her. I couldn’t bear the thought of beginning this whole new journey unprepared. I had nightmares of “unprepared mammas on the first day”. After all who goes to college unprepared…isn’t just the thought of being at college “preparing” them for the real world…well sorta or so they say. So I just had to get a grip on how to tackle this and show up my usual prepared self. Well, ok… at least with my first child I think I will need to show up prepared.


So what to do?…I do what every mom does best-I  CREATED A LIST. I do these so well I have them all over my home completed. It was important that this would not be MY list, but more so my daughters. After all, that is what “spreading thee wings” means right? This journey of prep felt like such a big overwhelming journey.


Below is a quick and easy summary of the list I created for her and she, in turn, added to it as needed. One or more tasks on the list were given to her weekly as to not overwhelm me her. In no particular order:

  1. Set up a meeting with one or more career professionals in the field she has an interest in. For my daughter. this was a law enforcement professional and the meeting was spectacular and really left her with the good, the bad and the ugly. I can’t begin to recommend this enough. She walked away feeling both encouraged and questioning her career endeavors. That is exactly what every student should feel when they begin to explore a career path. It was a soul-searching meeting.
  2. Write a thank you to the professional that took time from their day to answer your questions. NEVER underestimate the power of a thank you.
  3. Begin a small journal to keep websites, usernames, and passwords. There is so many login’s that it is hard to keep them all straight. A small pocket journal that can be tossed in a purse is helpful. Of course, you can put these on your phone also. I like the journal idea, however, do what floats your boat. I began my own just for her also and have referred to it a million times. I have the Fsfa info, her bank info, school log in info. The info I need in a pinch if she were to call  text for help.
  4. Schedule a Dr. appt. Keep it, make it there on time and follow through in getting you immunization forms where they need to be.
  5. Schedule dentist appt. (Same as above, almost).
  6. Contribute to savings account from the summer job (This is HUGE, however, my daughter & I can all agree we have different meanings of “contribute”. Next summer will be better!).
  7. Open a Target Red Card (Every little bit helps). Every Target addict needs one: 
  8. Login to Target Cartwheel and begin using (I am addicted to this and I can only hope she learns my ropes on saving money) 
  9. Check the website often (daily or a few times a week) for a quick and easy reference on Target deals. I love that it updates daily and the format is wonderful for a busy money saver. We live 5 minutes from a Target so it is easy to run there for the deal of a lifetime.
  10. Print off the Ultimate College School Supply List found here:
  11. Go through the list and cross off what we already own/do not need to purchase. I am focusing on getting rid of clutter and not over buying items that are not necessary.
  12. Coordinate dorm items with the roommate as to not double up on furniture and large pieces.
  13. Begin grocery shopping and stocking up on items as they are on sale (Somehow this one was more on my list than hers?).
  14. Research student loans. We have the dreaded student loan life here, so it was necessary to learn all about these as best as we could.
  15. Apply for student loans (in July). (LEAST FAVORITE ITEM ON THE LIST)
  16. Continue shopping for items on college supply list. My daughter did an impeccable job at this. Of course, she did, as it was her favorite part. She is a career shopper!
  17. Attend church garage sales and neighborhood garage sales for the best deals on that college supply list…Coffee maker $5. YES PLEASE. Bookshelf $2. OH MY YES!
  18. Watch the documentary “The Hunting Ground”. . Honestly, the scariest movie I have ever watched. Viewer discretion is advised. Every young college student or young adult or give or take teens should watch this. It is done so well as a film and the content and information will blow your mind. A must see for every parent and young adult entering this world.
  19. Find out what bank account is on campus and open a bank account with that bank. You never know when you will need quick easy access to your bank account.
  20. Sign up for Amazon Student Prime for the discounts!
  21. When books are available for viewing research and find out if they are available at the library, through Amazon Prime, through an offsite that is offering discounted books or anywhere you can find a good price. Do the research! Pinterest helps here!
  22. Begin a resume. Even if there is not a lot to fill it with, start one. You may need one on a whim and by having one it will show you the area’s you may want to fill, such as “skills” or “expertise”. It encouraged her to think of classes that will also build her skills as well as advance her career. Have you checked out the amazing resume templates available on Etsy? Wowwie wow is all I can say!
  23. Apply for work-study. We were advised (via the University finance office) to begin doing this in the beginning of August as jobs were beginning to post. I have to say we are still doing this, so it is a process, but we’ll keep at it.
  24. Do Laundry! Yes. Practice makes perfect. Enough said, right?
  25. Make a Dollar store trip. Grab that list and knock off what you can at the dollar store.

What am I missing? Comment below if you have your own list and I missed something. Now onto my next list……….

XO Tammi