Productive Summer Activities to Prepare Your Teen for College

A4_June_PTM_Summer Prepare for CollegeThe summer after senior year is a busy time. Teens are busy working summer jobs, spending time with friends, and getting ready to head off to college. Though summer is certainly a time to unwind and have some fun before the busy school year begins, it is also a great opportunity to prepare for the year ahead. There are many productive summer activities that you and your teen can do in order to get ready for freshman year.

Take a Tour

Chances are good that you and your teen have already taken a tour of their new college campus as part of the application process. However, during the summer, many schools offer private tours, campus events, and even overnight stays for the incoming freshman class and their families. Contact the school that your child has chosen to attend and inquire about any tours or visit opportunities that are available. Take advantage of these options as a great way for your teen to familiarize himself with his new home away from home.

Get Organized

The transition to college life is the perfect opportunity for teens to get organized. Spending some time cleaning out their closets, getting rid of unneeded supplies and clothing, and creating a clean space to return to on college break is a worthy goal. This is also a great time for teens to decide what items they want to take with them to college and what items can remain at home.

Shop Smart

Colleges mail out a suggested packing list along with their freshman information packet. Take time to review the packing list with your teen. Keep an eye out on sales in order to save money on those items that your teen will need to outfit their dorm room. Nearly all national retailers offer sales on bedding, storage items, computer items, school supplies, and even bulk foods throughout the summer. This is a great way to get your child ready for school without blowing your budget.

Make Sure Payments Are In Place

Unfortunately, college tuition payments are often due long before the school year starts. Speak with your teen regarding tuition payments. Make sure that all of your deposits have been made and arrangements are in place to pay for tuition and room and board throughout the school year.


It’s never too late to add some volunteer credentials to your teen’s college resume. If you have some time to fill between getting ready for college and spending time with friends, why not volunteer? Dedicating your free time to a worthy cause – whether it is a local hospital, nursing home, or animal shelter – is a great way to spend time together and do something good for the community.

Have Some Fun

What is a summer vacation without a bit of fun? The summer before college is the last opportunity for parents and their teens to take a much-needed family vacation. Be sure to plan a fun trip before your teen heads off to college. If you can’t manage a whole week for vacation, spending a long weekend camping or at the beach is also a great idea!

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