1. Read classic books, and watch classic movies. Become cultured.
2. Let go of petty high school things. Make up with people you fought with, people you isolated, and start college off without something clawing at your past.
3. Clean up your social media. Delete anything that might endanger your opportunities for work opportunities, friend opportunities, etc…
4. Let go of physical high school things. Do not bring your football jacket or t-shirts that belong in high school or trophies that remind you of who you were in the past. The point of college is to take who you are in this moment and make something of that person.
5. Do all your favorite things in your hometown because you won’t be able to do them for months on end. You might not think you’ll miss the feeling of walking through your neighborhood barefoot in the summer, but you’d be surprised.
6. Cherish your parents. I guarantee that they will use this time to cram as much life advice into you as possible, but try not to take it as smothering, as you’ll be on your own when you’re sick in university. Friends that you make there will only go so far to baby and doctor you.
7. Do one last high-school ‘thing’, as a final tribute to the place that made you who you are in this moment, the person you will be upon entering college. You have the next four years to associate with all of the friends you will make in college, but this summer is the closest you and your high school buddies have been, and ever will be. Take advantage of that!
8. Find some low-skill level job, to be arbitrarily decided by you. This is the most appropriate time to do so, because you’ll be making $$$ but not be throwing yourself into the grownup world full-speed yet. You have the rest of your life to be a corporate nobody, evaluated largely for what’s inside your mind. For once in your life, let your ability to do basic tasks do the work and give your mind a break.
9. Grow up, but only a little. College…is the perfect mix of maturity and childhood, but if it’s barely acceptable to have an email address like firstname.lastname@example.org in high school, what makes you think it’s appropriate in college? (based on a true story)
10. Read the news. College is far greater than your high school life will ever be, and it’s excruciatingly important to expand your horizons and know what’s happening in the world around you. Maybe there’s something better to focus on instead of Damon and Elena?
11. If all else fails, leave the country for the whole summer and come back a completely different person. Though Emerson refers to travelling as “a fool’s paradise,” I find that there’s some value in just…getting the hell away from a place that bothers you so, and a car ride or a plane flight might just be the first step in getting away.