Author: Randi McQueen

Congratulations, and welcome to the Notre Dame community, Class of 2020! I’m sure it’s been an incredible journey for you, and you sure have a lot to be proud of after making it this far. But now that you finally did make it, what’s next?


The summer in between high school and college is probably one of the last worry-free times of your life, and it yearns to be enjoyed to the utmost. But if you can’t bring yourself to “take it easy” for the months before beginning what will probably be the most exciting journey of your life thus far, here are a few different ways to prepare for the big year ahead:


1. Spend Time with Friends and Family

Obviously, this is the last summer before you and all of your closest friends from high school disperse across the country and begin the next chapter of your lives. Many of these friends you won’t keep in contact with, but it’s all about how much effort you put into the friendship down the road. Savor these high school get-togethers, the graduation parties, and the good times.

And even if you think you’ve had enough of your parents nagging at you to get off of the couch, turn off Netflix, and do some chores around the house, you’ll miss them when times get tough in college. They won’t be there for you during your bad days like you’ve grown accustomed to during high school, but luckily they’ll still only be a phone call away!

2. Volunteer

One great way to garner your interests early is to volunteer with an organization or cause you are passionate about over the summer. Not only will you feel good about helping others, but you may even carry your passion with you to Notre Dame to share with others. There are countless clubs, organizations, and mission trips on campus for any interest or cause. If there isn’t a club which suits you, then you are free to organize your own!


3. Get a Part-Time Job

You’ll feel more comfortable starting college if you know you have some money saved up beforehand. Although you’ll have a meal plan and you’ll be living in a residence hall, it’s always nice to have a few extra dollars to stop by Eddy Street for a Chipotle Burrito or a burger from Five Guys. And girls, you never know when you’ll want to go shopping, or if you’ll want to purchase a dress for a dorm formal in the fall. Apply for a part-time job over the summer to gain work experience while earning a bit of spending money for the big year ahead. Even working just a few hours a week can help roll in the cash!

4. Practice a Language

Personally, I was nervous going into Notre Dame knowing I would be taking a language class. I was anxious that my years of high school French wouldn’t be sufficient, so I tried my best to brush up over the summer before starting school. Although it’s completely unnecessary, you might find it helpful to occasionally revise your old language books or read a new one in a foreign language to prepare for upcoming language courses. This way, even lounging by the pool can be productive if you want it to be!

5. Travel

If you have the means, this is certainly a great time to travel! Depending on your budget, you could organize a road trip across the country with your closest friends or you could fly to Costa Rica for a tropical getaway! Maybe you could participate in a mission trip with your local youth group or parish. Whether you travel with your friends, your family, or alone, you’ll surely create lasting memories. These will be great stories to tell when meeting new friends in the fall.