Seniors, here is your college admission checklist for June:
Finalize Your Admission
Make a list of tasks you need to complete before you arrive on campus this fall. Have you:
Completed housing and health forms? Taken subject placement tests? Answered roommate preference surveys?
Your to-do list might be different from your best friend’s. Read all mail and e-mail correspondence from your college, which will provide instructions on how to complete these tasks. Keep track of what is done and what is left to do. Make copies of any forms you submit.
Submit Your Final Transcript to Your College, the N.C.A.A. and Waiting-List School
Make sure you have followed your institution’s instructions on how to submit your end-of-year transcript.
If you are a potential Division I or II athlete, the N.C.A.A. also needs a copy of your final transcript.
Still hopeful about a waiting list? Send a final transcript to that college, too. Keep in mind that there may be limited waiting-list activity during the summer. Once a waiting list has closed, the college will notify you that its class is full.
Submit Your A.P. Scores
If you expect college credit for Advanced Placement exams, send your official scores to your college directly from the College Board, which administers the A.P. program.
Register for Orientation Programs
If your college offers a summer orientation program, be sure to attend. This will be an opportunity for you to meet your academic adviser, register for fall classes and learn the lay of your new land.
Many colleges also have preorientation programs that invite small groups of students to come to campus early and experience something interesting together, like a camping trip or volunteer work in the neighborhood. Consider taking this opportunity to bond with a small group of fellow freshmen before the entire class arrives on campus.
Don’t Be That Guy/Girl…
Think carefully about the first impressions you are making on your future college classmates. You don’t want to be the person on the Class of 2017 Facebook page whom everyone else talks about when they gather, in person, for the first time.
Connect With Your Roommate
Your college roommate will be a new and interesting person (you hope!), someone to learn from and learn about, whether the two of you are just alike or completely different.
You don’t have to be best friends with your roommate, but you will have to co-exist. Use this summer to set a good tone for your year together. Say hello, voice-to-voice or online, and decide how best to manage your small space. (Maybe one room-size sound system is enough.)
Look Around, Smell the Roses, Say Thank You
Whether you loved high school or hated it, be sure to stop and take it all in before it’s over. Be present in your last few days or weeks of school. Pay attention to the silly kid in science and stay after class to talk to your favorite teacher.
Chances are you didn’t get to this point on your own, so thank the people who helped you on your way. (Tip: Those thanks are best said in handwritten notes.)
Cut Your Parents Some Slack
The summer after your senior year can be a happy, but tense, time at home. As excited as you feel about spreading your wings, your family may be equally sad and sentimental about your leaving home.
If you find yourself arguing with your parents about curfews or dorm decorations, keep in mind that it may be a symptom of much bigger emotions. You want to be independent, and they want you to be independent, but it will be hard for them to watch you go.
Don't Sleep Your Summer Away
In these next few months, try your hand at managing all aspects of your life. Practice being an adult. Wake up on your own, to an alarm. Do your own laundry. Learn how to cook your favorite food. Schedule your own health care appointments and find new doctors in your college town. Figure out when and how to exercise. Set a budget and live within it.
Set Some Goals
Find some quiet time to set academic, extracurricular and personal goals for next year. College is a fresh start, a new slate. Are you ready to discover something new about yourself?
Remember That It’s Not Always Like the Viewbooks
Don’t underestimate the challenges that will come with transitioning from a place you know by heart to a brand new environment. Be cool. Give it and yourself a chance. It's not easy moving to a new school or place where you don't know anyone.
College is going to be great, but it isn’t always perfect, and it doesn’t always feel perfect from Day 1.
It may take you until Christmas break for you to find your footing. In fact, you should count on it. This is normal.
Your life has been one of schedules and you've had few opportunities to make your own decisions. You may have doubts about your readiness for college. That's normal, too. I suggest you watch the movie American Graffiti. All of life's riddles are answered in the movies. (Davis to his friend Mack in the movie Grand Canyon, 1991).