It’s my last summer at home


“It’s my last month at home before I head off to college. Any advice?”

Why, yes. SOAK IT UP.

1. Spend quality time with your parents and siblings.

I am a broken record about this.  Probably because I wish I could go back in time and do a better job of this when I was heading off to college.  I cared so much about hanging out with my friends that my family got the shaft.  Don’t do that.  Make sure your family feels loved and appreciated by you.  Organize a family dinner & game night or an activity that you know everyone in your family will enjoy.  Spend one on one time with your siblings.  If you’ve got significantly younger siblings, take them to get ice cream or play in the park.  Trust me, they will LOVE getting special time with you.

Side note: Are you fighting a lot with your parents? I had a very easy relationship with my parents until my senior year of high school.  Then it felt like I couldn’t stop butting heads with my dad.  I’ve got more thoughts on this here if you are in the same boat.

2. Make some memories with your high school besties. 

Dream up some really fun, epic things to do as last hurrah.  Plan a picnic that turns into a food fight.  Throw a progressive dinner.  Do a photo scavenger hunt.  Make a “documentary” of your friends/friendships and have a film screening night.  My friend, Nathan, did this our senior year.  All of our friends and families came together to watch the film he made.  I treasure that memory!  Bottom line: create long lasting memories.  Hanging out until 2am in your friend’s basement is fine and all, but you won’t remember most of those nights once you’re a few years out.

3. Organize your bedroom and life. 

This part is the worst.  I always procrastinate on this stuff, but seriously start now so that you aren’t missing out on quality time with friends and family the last week of summer.  If your bedroom is going to be taken over by a younger sibling, think through what stuff you are actually okay with leaving in your room (for him/her to adopt as their own) and things you want to box up and put away.  ANYTHING you leave in your room or closet will become your younger sibling’s.  Don’t even try to tell him/her they can’t have it.  It’s just the way of life.  So just know… if you leave something, you are giving it to them.

4. Complete your summer reading assignment. 

Lame, I know, but just do it.  If you start now, you only need to read a few pages a night.  Think about it.  If your book is 300 pages and you’ve got 30 days left, just read 10 pages a night before going to sleep.  Don’t put this off until the last minute, again, you’ll hate yourself for having to spend time reading when you could be playing with friends and family.

5. Fight the inclination to worry.

Some of you are getting knots in your stomach thinking about college.  Take a deep breath and let it go.  Yes, it’s something new and a little scary, but I promise it’s going to be awesome. I’ve written a little bit about combating worry and fear here (I’m crippled with fear) and here (I’m so stressed out).  Most importantly, don’t let your anxiety and worry about this new chapter of life steal the joy you can be experiencing today while you soak up your last summer at home.

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