When I was accepted early-decision into my alma mater, I could not wait to step foot on campus for freshman orientation in August. But for some reason, when I was completing my housing form and meal plan preferences, I skipped over the Pre-College Summer Program options. At my college, like many others, there are several summer programs offered on campus and off for entering freshmen. These activities include wilderness trips, pre-orientation classes, community service, and many more. These programs came at an extra price—but also with tons of advantages.
These are the reasons why I wish I went to a pre-college summer program.
- College credit.
Most colleges have options to take pre-orientation classes over the summer. These classes include introductory courses, such as Writing 101 or Psychology 101. Not only will you get some core requirements out of the way, but you will also gain college credit. Not to mention, you could even have the chance to register for classes during the summer, while most freshmen register during orientation. This is a huge advantage.
- Social time.
I was randomly matched with a roommate who seemed great over Facebook and text messages (and she was!). In fact, I first found out about pre-college summer programs while looking at her Facebook pictures! She got to spend time with students of our future class, meet a few of our suitemates, and other students in our freshmen dorm. I was so jealous that I missed out on this opportunity before move-in day. It would have been nice to see familiar faces when I was moving in and to meet my roommate face-to-face during the summer.
- Mental preparation.
As you know, going back to school in the fall can be a total shock to your system (and your brain). Even if you are active all summer with a job, you are out of practice with homework, tests, and essays. While not all pre-college summer programs are academic-based, all of them will mentally prepare you for leaving home and embarking on a brand new adventure. These programs, which usually last two weeks to a month, will force you to contemplate the next four years. If you are in shock that you will be a freshman in college in the fall, a pre-college summer program will ease many of your worries, and replace denial with excitement.
When it comes time to send in your college acceptance, don’t forget to consider one of the many pre-college summer programs offered. While spending a few weeks on one of these programs during the summer, you will become academically and mentally prepared for college, and you will be relieved of some of your social anxiety. Most importantly, you’ll have fun!