Making the Most of Your Summer Before University

By University of Waterloo Modified on May 08, 2019

Our top tips for setting yourself up for success.


The summer before university is a big deal. Between celebrating your high school accomplishments and planning for your university future, there’s a lot to do. We’ve compiled our best tips to help make the most of your summer and ensure you’re set up for success come the fall.

Learn the “easy stuff”
Cooking, cleaning, grocery shopping, and doing laundry are just a few of the many life skills you should try to master before going to university. Your parents may have been doing these chores for you, but once you get to university it’s quite likely that will change.

Of all the life skills we recommend you learn, cooking is our top pick. In first year, you may not be able to put this skill to much use if you’re living in residence, but in your upper years, this is sure to be a valuable skill. Take some time this summer to learn how to cook some of your favourite meals. The more you practise, the better you’ll be. School gets busy and the time you have to cook will become less and less. In the long run this will truly pay off. You’ll be eating healthier and saving money!

The idea of “practise makes perfect” follows suit with the rest of our recommendations. You may think doing laundry is easy and you’ll figure it out when you need to, but you’ll be surprised how many students figure out later that they actually don’t know what they’re doing!

Get some experience, and write it down
All experience is good experience, and there’s no time like the summer to start to gain some. Once you get to university there will be many opportunities to apply for part-time jobs, volunteer positions, or internships. Having previous experience will greatly help your chances in being chosen for these roles! If you aren’t sure where to start, we’ve compiled our best tips for finding a summer job.

Once you gain some experience, make sure you add it to your résumé! Whether you think you’ll get involved right away or not, eventually you’ll end up needing a résumé. We recommend you get ahead of the game by creating or updating your résumé before school starts. Need some help getting started? We’ve got you covered with our tips for building a résumé before university.

Worried about money? Learn how to budget!
We know that the stress of money is something that many students often have to face. Learning how to budget your money will help you spend your money wisely and get the most out of it. And not only is budgeting a useful skill to learn for university, but it will also apply to the rest of your life. Check out our top tips for budgeting for your first year of university to get started mastering this skill.

Make some memories
The summer before university may be your last chance to spend time with your friends and family for a while. Spend some time this summer with those you care about. Being away in university can leave you feeling homesick at times, but having memories to look back on can help make the distance easier to bare! Make sure you take lots of photos of everything you do this summer to put up in your new room!

We hope you put these tips to use and head to university feeling like you’re set up for success. Best of luck and have a great summer!