The Final Days: How to Spend Your Last Summer Before College

So, I’m graduating high school this week. Actually, by the time this is up, I will have graduated. I’m not really sure how it happened, but it did. My college is only an hour and half away from my hometown, but being someone who has grown up in the same house my entire life, the change is definitely one that I’m trying to figure out. 


    Planting your life in a new spot calls for fear and excitement, all bundled together with a string of cluelessness. You can plan and research as much as you want for your future destination, but you’ll never truly be able to find it’s nooks and crannies until you’ve settled there. For now, dedicate the next few months to where your roots are now. Below are some tips on how to make the handful of lasts the most memorable. 


Visit your favorite secret hideouts as often as possible.

    Whether there’s an abandoned house that only you and your best friend know about, or a public park that you grew up going to, spend as much time as you can there. The idea of forgetting what a place that was once so important to you looks like is frightening. Take pictures, and make memories there. There’s a waterfront just a few minutes away from my house that my friends and I go to to watch the sunset all the time, and we’ve adopted it as our ‘spot.’ There’s rarely any other people on the rocks when we spend our nights there, and it’s the perfect place to have deep conversations, or to bring a pizza pie and have a jam session on the beach. 


Even if you’re tired, say “yes.”

    I’m one who constantly makes the excuse of not going out after work because I’m tired or I’ve been looking forward to laying in bed all day. When saying ‘no’ becomes a habit, so does the feeling of not living your life to its full potential. Your bed will always be sitting in your room, but the chance to try something new or make more memories comes and goes in a flash. 


Stay in touch with who deserves you.

    This sounds a little cocky, but think of it this way: why would you waste your effort on someone who only ever made you feel low, even if you did have the most memories with them? This middle ground of moving from one place to another gives you the freedom to pick and choose who you want to keep around in your life, and whose lack of presence would make breathing much easier for you. If there are people who made you feel special but you weren’t particularly close with them, reach out to them. You’ll be glad you did later. 


Take pictures.

    Memories are much more valuable, in my opinion, than any digital media, but I do think that having photographs of things that may start to get fuzzy as years go on is important. The chances of the house on the top of your street looking exactly the same twenty years from now are slim, and being able to put yourself back in your younger years with the accurate depictions is such a thrilling experience. Printed or saved on a flash drive, save the images of your everyday life. 


Spending money isn’t the only way to have fun, but it also shouldn’t be what holds you back.

    Your next adventure is obviously going to call for new finances, and your best bet is to save, save, save. Finding free art shows or parks to take trips to is one way of filling your last days at home. With that being said, if there’s something that truly screams out to you, don’t punish yourself because the number attached to it is daunting. My last summer before college is filled with concerts, and although my wallet cried every time I bought a ticket, it’s recovered, and we’re doing just fine now. 


Don’t sit and anticipate.

    The absolute worst thing to do before moving onto something big is to wallow in your fears. You’ve done everything you can up to this point to make the transition as smooth as possible, so now is the time to exhale. Take in the final moments you’ll have at this very spot in time and in this very spot in location. We grow from everywhere we’ve been.

Chelsea Triano