Note to College Students: A Little Planning Now Will Set You Up for a Productive Summer!

April proves to be a stressful time for many, especially college students.

  At this point in the semester things seem to be winding down, but due dates for those end-of-year projects and papers loom large on the horizon. It’s easy to understand why students often overlook other important tasks, like getting organized for the summer months, in the run-up to finals. 

Here are a few reminders to keep on the tip of your brain while finishing up your university days before summer.

1.  Move out dates:  Whether it is for your dormitory or apartment, these dates often creep up on us, creating panic amongst every aspect of your life while trying to end the semester on a strong note. Take a few minutes to map out a plan for moving out and schedule important dates in your calendar now so you don’t wake up in a month scrambling.
2.  Your summer opportunities:  The summer is a great time to gain experience in your field or to work and save up some money for the coming school year, but  don’t expect to find work your first day home from school – especially not in this economy!  Keep in contact with possible internships and jobs before the semester is over, potentially securing a position for the upcoming summer.  This takes a load of stress off your (and your parents) mind in terms of making the most of your summer break, while also upping your chances significantly of landing a summer job.
3.  Line up your next semester living plans:  Dormitories and apartment complexes often have special promotions for those signing contracts at the end of the spring semester for the next fall.  This helps them estimate vacancies and allows you to map out your expenses and roommate situation early on, keeping your stress to a minimum while your home for the summer.  Set up a date with potential roomies to discuss options over dinner this week and make a plan to tour your options in the weeks ahead. The early birds definitely get the worms.

4.  Plan your courses for the next semester:  Even if you are not able to enroll until a specified appointment date, keeping track of your possible courses and credit hours helps you strategize and make every semester load as efficient as possible in helping you achieve your graduation date in a timely fashion. 
5.  Meet with your adviser:  Having a strong relationship with an adviser keeps you motivated and up to date on possible courses, scholarships, and even potential post-graduation opportunities.  Remember that they are there to help you.  Even a simple check-in to talk about your current courses or your stresses about the upcoming semester will help them, to help you. Book an appointment during the next few weeks – preferable during a window of time where you are not stressed to the max with project and paper deadlines.
Keeping all of your ducks in a row helps you approach the final days of the semester confidently–allowing your mind to stay focused on the important details of projects and finals rather than losing sleep to last minute packing and summer job hunting.