Summer bucket list: from freshmen, to freshmen

Jill O'Brien

The summer before college starts is equal parts busy and daunting. With dorm shopping and cramming in as much time with friends and family before move-in day, there are plenty of things to do that will make the last summer at home one to remember. Here are a few summer before college staples from freshmen to freshmen that will surely be remembered after everyone goes their separate ways.


Doing things with friends is usually at the top of the agenda, and spending as much time together before everyone’s respective move-in day. Road trips make for scenic views, lots of laughter and lots of memories.


“I went to Gatlinburg, Tennessee with my best friend for two weeks,” said Makayla Boring, freshman in pre-architecture. “We went whitewater rafting, tubing and canoeing one day.”


While a road trip doesn’t have to be to a far off locale, a long drive, a solid playlist and a fun destination provides something to look forward to and time to unwind.


“Not quite a goodbye, but it was nice to have a time together where we didn’t have to worry about school or anything else going on.”  


While spending time with those closest to you is what makes the summer before college so bittersweet, it’s also a time to do things for yourself, whether it be finishing that mountain of books, getting that drastic haircut you’ve been waiting to get or taking time for self-improvement.


“Right before school I went on a huge diet and lost 25 pounds because I wanted to be happy with myself at school,” said Andrea Thompson, freshman in public relations. “Overall I’m extremely glad I did it because I’ve been much happier with myself and more confident with myself as well.”


Other activities, like hanging out with family, are also fun for the summer before college, as that goodbye will be rough on both them and you. Let them take you out for lunch or ice cream, and listen to the same stories over and over again, because it could be a while before you have to hear them again. Have fun, enjoy the people around you and enjoy yourself before your Iowa State adventure begins.


Although these fun summer activites are great ways to make the most of your last days before college, Liz Kurt, director of New Student Programs, recommends that students to these things to prepare for their first days at Iowa State:


  • Explore AccessPlus throughout the summer.

    • Verify ISU alert information

    • Add emergency contact information.

    • Select a meal plan with ISU Dining, if you haven’t done so.

    • Check your mailing address for accuracy.

    • View move-in details. Plan to move into your residence hall before Destination Iowa State.

    • Ask parents, family and friends to contribute your educational expenses by purchasing an educational gift certificate that can help reduce the fees on your university billing statement, also known as your U-Bill.

    • Review your class schedule for accuracy. Room locations will be released after August 1.

    • Watch for your U-Bill after August 1. A message will be sent to your Iowa State email address to tell you the bill is available.

      • Verify your financial aid status.

      • Submit all required forms.

      • Your first U-Bill payment is due August 20.

    • Submit your immunizations online by following the instructions on the Student Health Center menus of the Student Tab.

  • Contact your roommate to coordinate who will bring what.

  • Reserve your textbooks at the Iowa State University Bookstore website.

  • Submit all final transcripts of high school and/or college credit earned during high school to the Office of Admissions.

  • Attend events and activities at Destination Iowa State.

  • Begin classes the following monday.