Tips from a Costa Mesa College Tutor: 5 Things to do in August if You’re Going Off to College


Students who are going off to college this fall don’t have too much time left until move-in day. Some universities start classes in August while others don’t start until October. Regardless, there are a few things students should do so they are ready to start their college experience successfully. August presents an excellent opportunity for students to focus on the pre-college chores that may have been difficult to get done while they were still a full-time high school student. Whether a student is preparing to adjust to campus life or brushing up on academics, it’s better to show up drawn up on day one so that the transition to being a college student can go smoothly.

1. Find Affordable Textbooks

There are so many great and affordable textbook options these days including renting textbooks and purchasing an online version of a textbook. Students are no longer limited to waiting in a long line at their college bookstore so they can save $5 on a used book. Unless that is, they haven’t explored alternate options. It’s a good idea for students to research their options ahead of time, so they don’t end up buying an overpriced book the first week of class because they became overwhelmed with other college tasks.

2. Map Out a Route Around Campus

It’s also a great idea to map out a route around campus from the dorm to classes and the library to social activities. Students who know how to get around the first week of college are more likely to be able to focus on their assignments and social activities because they won’t be overly stressed. If freshmen have the opportunity to spend some time in person on campus over the summer, they are strongly recommended to do so. They don’t necessarily have to join an official tour rather they can just walk around with family or friends and get to know where everything is (READ: Going Off to College: Setting Up a Budget).

3. Start Social Networking

With today’s technology, many freshmen will already have several acquaintances before they start their first class. Many colleges have a freshman Facebook page, official or unofficial, or a mentor available to speak to new students online. It’s a great idea to set a goal of making three definitive social contacts, if possible, this August to prevent the feelings of isolation and loneliness that can occur in many new college students. For the most part, everyone will be in the same boat, and they’ll all be looking to make new friends, but it’s a great idea to have at least one or two people to talk to about the college adjustment period.

4. Line Up Academic Help

Another important thing for rising college freshman to do this August is line up academic help just in case their courses are trickier than they thought. In general, college courses are more difficult that high school classes although they may be less stressful because the student has some control over their schedule and learning. Even extremely smart students become overwhelmed with stress and the pressure of post-secondary education and can use some extra help. Whether they get in touch with her high school tutor so they can discuss organizational skills or find an entirely new tutor in their area, it’s better to line up help before things get difficult (READ: Year-Round School: How to Enjoy Summer Break).

5. Spend Valuable Time With Friends and Family at Home

Perhaps one of the most important things soon-to-be college students can do is spend some quality time with friends and family at home before they go off to start their university life. Some students may only be traveling an hour up the road while others may be moving to an entirely new state. Students who spend quality time with people they spent the last four years with are more likely to be able to maintain the social connections and friendships long distance and have a sense of belonging that will help them through their college adjustment period until they have a new set of friends.

An excellent way to prepare for college is with the help of a Costa Mesa summer tutor. Even if you got good grades in high school, college will be more difficult than you expect. Get ahead of the curve with summer tutoring.

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