The student’s guide to a successful summer away from school
via Flickr

Give yourself the relaxing summer you deserve. (Photo via Flickr)

If you’re like most students, you probably did not finish everything in the spring semester you would have liked. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a great summer, it just means you have some work left to do before you start enjoying yourself. To make sure you can get the boring stuff out of the way, we’ve made a list for you:

1. Finish financial aid
2. Sign up for classes
3. Find a job
4. Find an apartment
5. Buy books
6. Sign up for meal plan
7. Check school emails

We’ve also tackled the main reasons you haven’t knocked this stuff out yet:

1. “I don’t know how to start”
2. “It will take too long”
3. “This stuff is boring”

Financial Aid:

“I don’t know how to start”: We’re all graduates here and still barely understand how financial aid works, so don’t sweat it. Your school account will probably tell you what you need to do, but those documents can sometimes just add to the stress. You should schedule a meeting with a financial advisor and they will walk you through everything. Ask them to simplify things you don’t understand and discuss what’s needed to accomplish the requirements. Lastly, DO NOT leave until you feel confident that you’re fully equipped to complete everything.

“It will take too long”: Financial aid is really a waiting game, which, yes can take a long time. What doesn’t take long is what you need to do: sign some documents, fill some stuff out, and mail things out. That part doesn’t take as long as you may think. Tackle it and get it out of the way early.

“This stuff is boring”: A lot of life is boring. After graduation you’ll have to worry about insurance and mortgage payments and car payments – all that stuff gets tedious. Get used to getting boring things out of the way quick. Does it help if we tell you to always assume the deadline is tomorrow?

Finding an Apartment:

“I don’t know how to start”: We have every listing near you on an easy to search platform, check it out:

“It will take too long”: We’ve had no problem finding places for students in under 10 minutes. If you know what you want, it’ll go quicker than you think.

“This stuff is boring”: Said Mr. and Mrs. Nobody. This is the place you’re going to live for the next year. That’s exciting! Maybe.

Sign Up For Classes:

“I don’t know how to start”: You need to talk with your advisor to plan what exactly you should sign up for and when your window is available. They will simplify everything for you and get you excited about the possibilities you have. Then you need to find out what an ideal schedule would look like for you. Think about your classes, your free time and any other work you’re taking on. Lastly, choose the courses you need in your school’s scheduling system, stress-free.

“It will take too long”: The enjoyable part of choosing classes may take some time, but the majority of your classes are required. Enter them in and hit enroll.

“This stuff is boring”: The task of signing up for classes might be boring, but if you’re not excited about choosing your classes you may want to rethink your major.

Sign Up For A Meal Plan:

I don’t know how to start”: You know how much you have left on your meal plan from last year, so use that knowledge to make an informed choice when signing for next year.

“It will take too long”: We all think about food all day, so what’s a few more minutes on your computer thinking about food?

“This stuff is boring”: You’re probably thinking about the wrong food if considering food is boring for you.

Find A Job:

I don’t know how to start”: Depending on the degree of the job you’re looking for, you first should ask yourself what you want out of the job and then what you’re willing to put into it. Be aware of how many hours you can commit and start searching job websites like, or searching for temporary job sites.

“It will take too long”: Any major move like looking for a job won’t happen instantaneously. The hard part of applying for jobs really doesn’t take too long. Waiting for a reply, however, does. So get started quick!

“This stuff is boring”: A summer job isn’t meant to change your life. It’s meant to get some money in your pocket for the coming school year. Unless you’re doing something that correlates with your major, it’s likely to be a bit boring. But you’ll learn discipline and make money. Those are good things! 

Buy Books:

I don’t know how to start”: Read the syllabus, then you can search student groups or online websites to find the cheapest offerings. Most of the time your friends might have what you need or even the library will for free.

“It will take too long”: The more time you spend searching for and comparing books the cheaper the price you’ll have to pay.

“This stuff is boring”: Like many school activities, you can turn on some music or Netflix to entertain yourself while you search.

Check School Emails:

I don’t know how to start”: Yes, you do. It’s important to keep an eye on these!

“It will take too long”: We have no clue how popular you are, but five emails take only seconds to speed-read for importance.

“This stuff is boring”: During the summer you might be surprised to see a lot of congratulations and offer emails. Take advantage of the coupons from local businesses when you head back to campus next fall.

Callie Kollenbroich has been the Operations Coordinator and Content Writer/Editor at Rent College Pads since 2015. When she's not working, you can find her at home, eating peanut butter out of the jar and bingeing an unhealthy amount of Forensic Files. She's not as lame as she sounds.

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