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Summer Time Advice!

Fátima gives recommendations on how to spend your summer before coming to college.  

Fátima gives recommendations on how to spend your summer before coming to college.  

Congratulations to the newest members of the Class of ’27! As college decisions keep coming out and high-school senioritis hopefully winds down, you might start thinking about the transition into college and what that entails. Your last summer before you leave the nest can be an important milestone for many and an excellent opportunity to get some experience outside the classroom, make some ever-lasting memories, and get ready for college life! Here’s a list that my friends and I have put together of ways to spend your pre-Carleton summer.

Visit Campus

SSLAI 2022 students examine maps from special collections
As an accepted student, you can even sit in some classrooms if you visit during the academic year! (I know this post is about the summer, but this is a cool thing to know, right?)

If you haven’t already and have the opportunity to, come to visit campus! Getting yourself familiar with important campus locations, like dorms or dining halls, before the chaos of move-in day will probably save you a lot of time and headaches trying to figure out where Mail Services or Goodhue Hall are.

If you come to visit during the summer, you can also enjoy the beautiful scenery of Northfield during this time of the year, have one-on-one time with tour guides, and may even bump into alumni coming back for Reunion!

Explore Carleton’s Website

Whether you can physically visit campus or not, the Carleton website has a myriad of wonderful resources you can use to get to know Carleton even more intimately and start thinking about what you may want your college life to be like. While you can find practically anything on there, here are some of the things I wish I had explored before arriving in Northfield.

  • Graduation requirements: you will certainly get a run-down of these during New Student Week and when you meet with your advisor, but having an idea of what courses you will need to take can both (hopefully) get you excited about them and eliminate the stress associated with learning about the requirements when you are bombarded with so much information as a freshman.
  • Carleton’s map: this is particularly useful if you are only able to virtually visit campus. As an incoming freshman, I had no idea what Carleton’s layout was like and made the mistake of registering for back-to-back classes in the Weitz and the CMC, buildings on almost opposite sides of campus. On the upside, I got really fit from having to run from one class to the next every other day.
  • Student organizations: even though there is an activity fair at the start of every year, it is always nice to have an idea of what types of clubs you might be interested in joining (or creating!) when you come to Carleton.
Students at the Student Organization Fair
The Student Involvement Fair was where I discovered some of the clubs I would eventually join, including Fellowship in Christ!
  • Admissions Blog: I mean, you are here already, but I cannot stress enough how fantastic a resource this is! (And I am not just saying it because I am a writer). We aim to cover life on campus from a student-focused perspective and dive into the things that you would not usually hear about, like what music lessons are like or the Carl-lingo that will become your second language as a student.

Get a Job or Internship

While you are almost bound to get at least one or the other of these during your time as a Carl, getting a job or internship after your high school graduation has a lot of advantages as you prepare for college life.

Summer fall interns holding a box of vegetables.
If my friends are a representative sample in any way, outdoor jobs are a favorite amongst future Carls!
  • You can use the money you earn to put towards tuition and have one less stressor when you start the academic year or save it as pocket money to treat yourself or use in emergencies.
  • You get an outside-the-classroom experience! Even if your summer job is not related to your intended area of study or career path, holding a 9-5 (or any other sort of position) can give you valuable insights into work life and help you build your confidence in diverse workplaces.
  • The application process for jobs and internships, much like the college application process, will allow you to develop skills that are vital in post-secondary education and life, including interview and essay-writing skills. Even rejection is a natural part of life, and the sooner you get acquainted with that feeling, the better.

Spend Time with Family and Friends

Relationships at home don’t end just because you are off to college, but since distance grows the heart fonder. I think it is a wonderful idea to create as many memories with the people you care about as you can before the start of the fall. You will be able to hold onto them until you get to see your loved ones again, and will make for great answers to the common “How was your summer?” question that you are surely going to be asked during New Student Week.

Last but not least, rest!

At the end of the day, summer is all about taking a breath, relaxing, having fun, and enjoying this period of transition. All your hard work during college has finally paid off, and now you get to sit back and remind yourself that you are young and have a bright future ahead! Eat ice cream, watch a movie, travel, sleep in… in sum, do all the things that bring you joy, and make sure to recharge so when you join us on campus, you are ready to take this college life head on!

Students on a hammock on the Bald Spot.
Nothing like a hammock, a friend, and nature to unwind.



After a trimester abroad, Guatemalan sophomore Fátima (she/her) is looking forward to continuing her pursuit of a SOAN major and an Educational Studies minor. In addition to blogging, she works at the Admissions Office and the Spanish department. Outside of class, Fátima can be found watching cartoons, poorly playing the piano, attending Bible studies, or desperately missing her dog, Cosmo.  Meet the other bloggers!