4 ways to prepare for college over the summer

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By Erin Eagan

If you’re enrolled in college, first of all, congratulations! You’ve completed the first step in your journey to a fulfilling career. With the fall semester just a few months away, you’ve still got some time to make sure you are well-prepared for what you are about to embark upon.

Whether you’re fresh out of high school or are an adult learner, there are a few things you can do this summer that will make life a little easier for you come fall.

Order your textbooks and other course materials early. Don’t wait until right before classes start to buy your books and supplies and risk not being ready on day one. There’s always the slight chance of a book being sold out or delayed in shipping. You definitely don’t want to walk in the first day empty-handed. Something else to keep in mind, there’s often the less-expensive option of renting textbooks as opposed to buying them.

Strengthen your time management skills. A vital element of college success is time management. Some students have full-time jobs and families and already have this skill mastered. But others may not. For those in the latter category, create a daily/weekly schedule for yourself and try to follow it. Factor in work, chores, family time, exercise (yes, you need to schedule some time for yourself too), social events and anything that takes up your time. There’s no better time like the present to sharpen this skill!

Join online communities. If you haven’t done so already, become familiar with relevant groups and platforms. It’s likely that your college has Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts for you to join. Do you have a LinkedIn account? LinkedIn allows you to connect with teachers, other students and groups that pertain to your chosen field. It also comes in handy while looking for internships and jobs.

Sign up for Amazon Prime Student. Amazon Prime Student is a program that offers free two-day shipping with lots of discounts on items like textbooks and laptops. And with your new .edu email address, the first six months are free.

College can be stressful enough, so do what you can ahead of time to alleviate some anxieties you have about starting this new chapter.