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Top 10 Must-Do Tasks for College Students Before Leaving Campus for Summer Break

3 women in swim suits holding hands and leaping from pier into water

As summer break approaches, college students are eager to kick back and relax. However, before they head out for the summer, there are several important tasks that they should take care of to ensure a smooth transition into the next academic year. Here are some key things that college students should do before leaving campus for summer break:

10 Tasks Before College Summer Break

1. Clean and organize your living space:

Before leaving campus, clean and organize your living space. Include any common areas you share with others. While cleaning, take another step to purge any items you no longer need. Make trash, give away, and sell piles. Remember the adage; someone else's trash is another person's treasure.

2. Communicate with your roommate(s):

If you have roommates, it's important to communicate with them before you leave for the summer break. If you live off campus and will be returning to the same living space, discuss any plans for the home while you're away. Also, ensure everyone is on the same page about cleaning and organizing before you leave.

3. Return library books and other borrowed items:

Remember to return any books or other resources you borrowed or rented before leaving campus. Not only will this avoid late fees, but it also ensures that these resources are available for other students.

4. Set up a forwarding address:

If you're not returning to the same living space next academic year or are expecting mail during summer break, set up a forwarding address with the post office. Submitting a forwarding address helps to ensure the safe receipt of any mail or packages to your new address.

5. Check your finances:

Taking stock of your finances before you leave campus for the summer is helpful. No one appreciates financial surprises, especially when you are enjoying the summer. Another vital task before summer break is to make sure to pay any outstanding bills and create a budget for the summer months. Looking at your finances now will help you avoid financial pitfalls when you return to school in the fall.

6. Meet with your academic advisor:

Before you leave campus, meeting with your academic advisor is a good idea to discuss your academic plans for the upcoming year. Proactive meeting topics can include registering for classes, discussing career goals, and getting advice on how to make the most of your remaining time in college.

7. Request References:

Asking for a general or specific job-related reference letter at the end of a semester can be an excellent way for college students to gather references for future career or program applications. First, consider which professors you have a good relationship with and whose subject matter aligns with the position or program you are interested in.

It's essential to request in advance, providing the professor ample time to write a thoughtful and detailed letter of recommendation. Also, provide the professor with relevant information, such as a copy of your resume and a summary of your achievements and goals. Remember to express gratitude for the professor's time, effort, and quality instruction. Finally, follow up with a thank-you note once you receive the reference. By following these steps, you can increase your chances of receiving a positive and impactful reference from your college professor and have necessary references on hand when needed.

4 friends sitting on pier enjoying the sun and smiling

Maximize Your Summer

8. Plan your summer break:

While taking care of logistics before you leave campus is the priority, remember to plan some fun summer activities. Whether it's a road trip with friends, a summer hobby, or just some relaxation time, make sure to plan to make the most of your summer break.

9. Get involved in summer enrichment:

Finally, remember to get involved in goal related activities. Summertime is a great time to volunteer, join a summer sports league, or take classes or workshops to learn new skills. Not only will this help you stay engaged over the summer, but it can also help you build your resume, make new connections, or gain relevant experiences related to your major or coursework.

10. Set a Summertime Goal:

Setting summer goals is an excellent way for college students to maximize their time off. The more flexible schedule of summer creates optimum space for pursuing dreams. Whether seeking a personal passion, gaining work experience, or focusing on mental and physical wellness, having clear and achievable goals can help you stay motivated and productive. By setting SMART goals (specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound), you can prioritize activities and track their progress throughout the summer. Examples of summer goals could include:

  • Completing an internship.

  • Learning a new skill.

  • Reading a certain number of books.

  • Exercising regularly.

Whatever the goal may be, setting and achieving it can lead to a fulfilling and successful summer break.


There are several important tasks that college students should take care of before leaving campus for summer break. Getting these tasks done provides a smooth transition into summer and the next academic year. So take care of these tasks before you head out for the summer, and enjoy a well-deserved break!

Is this finals week? Here's a finals week planner that will help you focus your studying and productivity during the last week of the semester.

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