31 Ideas for the Ultimate Summer Before College Bucket List

A girl standing on top of a hiking trail with her arms outstretched, facing the sun.

If you had a dime for every time someone told you that college will go by in a flash, you’d be set for the next four years. But the fact is that when you look back at this time of your life, you’ll think the same thing. 

So why wait until moving day? Start seizing each day during your summer before college by checking off these 31 worthwhile activities. Each idea will give your college experience the jumpstart you deserve!

Summer Bucket List Ideas For College Students

Take as many pictures as humanly possible.

A girl in a denim outfit, pointing her vintage camera and shooting photos out on the street.

After senior year, you’ll want to capture as many moments as you can. Trust us. When you look back at who you were before you entered college, you’ll be happy you did. 

Create a shared Google Photos space with you and your besties.

Compile the photos you took with your friends on a shared drive. Whenever you’re feeling homesick, you can look back and laugh at all the fun times you had the summer before college. 

Explore every inch of your hometown.

Do you really know where you’ve been living all this time? Make sure of it and make memories along the way. Discover new spots and remember your old favorites. 

Try and retry every item on your favorite restaurant’s menu.

A group of friends in a restaurant, checking out the menu.

Eat it up while you can. Your life will be dorm food for the next year, so be sure to savor your chosen spot’s delicious selections. 

Two words: road trip. 

What’s a crazy summer without a perfect road trip? Make it spontaneous, or plan it out with your friends. 

Give yourself a makeover. 

Are you considering a new hairstyle? Think it’s time to learn how to contour your face? Use this time to get ready to make a statement when you walk into your first class. 

Lock down your personal style.


A stylish girl in a magenta faux fur coat, tinted sunglasses, and hair tied into a double bun.

The ultimate back-to-school shopping is here. What type of impression do you want to make?

Have a family barbeque.

You might be ready to leave the nest, but you’ll want to squeeze in as much family time as possible!

Go to a theme park with your friends. 

What better way to make the most out of the summer before college than to gather important people in your life and have a blast at a theme park? Challenge yourself to ride every single ride. 

Get a headstart on your dorm room DIY project.

A girl leaning against a step ladder, holding a paint brush, with a partially painted dorm room wall at the back.

Do you want a photo memory wall? How about a hand-knitted blanket that reminds you of home? Start now!

Set a money-saving goal and stick to it.

It’s time to be somewhat of an adult and budget for college. This will help you plan for those spring breaks and weekend road trips to come!

Pick at least 5 spots to explore in your new town.

Someone’s got to be the ideas girl when you arrive at college. Pick some spots to take your new friends and have some fun right away!

Research student activities on campus.

A group of college students working on a project inside a library on campus.

It’s easy to be overwhelmed once you arrive at college. Student fairs can have hundreds of tables full of student organizations to get involved with. Thinking about what you want to do for your extracurricular activities before you move in will help set you up for success!

Take a trip to a National Park.

Relish in nature before you hit the books. Don’t forget to take photos!

Plan a beach day.

We are talking giant umbrellas, multiple coolers, and a lot of laughs. Spend the day soaking up the sun and cherishing every summer moment. 

Rock out at a summer concert.

A group of friends having a great time at an outdoor music festival.

Big crowds, flashing lights, and all your friends. Make it a party night to remember for ages. 

Set up a slip n’ slide in the backyard.

No matter how much time passes, we all are kids at heart. Hold a slip n’ slide contest with your friends.

Create the ultimate summer playlist.

Pick songs that remind you of home, inspire you to go the distance, and get you pumped for college. Make it a collab with your friends!

Host a good old-fashioned sleepover.

Two girls having a pillow fight during a sleepover.

Let’s go back to the basics of a girls’ night in. The summer before college requires buckets of ice cream, reality TV, and lots of gossip. 

Make a list of museums to visit and go to with your friends. 

Soak up some culture before move-in day. Before you think museums aren’t your thing…have you ever taken selfies while reenacting old paintings? We guarantee it’s the most fun activity to do at a museum…just be sure not to get kicked out. 

Land an internship.

Strike up the perfect balance between working hard and playing hard this summer to prepare you for some of the most exciting times of your life. If you can snatch up a paid internship, this will surely help you as you start living on your own. 

Plan video chat calls with your best friends.

A group of friends at a coffee shop, waving at a computer screen during a video chat.

We know it’s sad to think about leaving your hometown friends behind. But moving away to college does not mean you can’t remain best friends forever. As long as you make an effort, you’ll be solid!

Write every day for 15 minutes without questioning yourself.

Journaling gets those creative juices flowing. And when you’re about to leave on the adventure of a lifetime at college, it’s the perfect activity for self-reflection. 

Ask your parents for your favorite recipes.

The summer before college is not the time to take anything for granted. And a nice home cooked meal is something we can virtually guarantee you’ll miss. Learn your favorite childhood recipes so you can take a piece of home with you to school.

Gather up some helpful advice.

Two girls having coffee on the couch, while giving each other friendly advice.

We will get you started. First, expect change. Second, remember that no one else really knows what they are doing, so you might as well go for it.

Spend extra time with your favorite teachers.

Not only will this strengthen connections from home, but they can become your go-to references when you apply for internships, programs, and jobs. 

Read a book.

You’ll have plenty of textbook readings to do as soon as you attend your first college course. So take the time this season to slowly enjoy a great summer novel. 

Form helpful habits.

A young woman in a yellow shirt and denim jumpsuit, holding a glass of fresh green juice.

People form healthy habits through repetition. Think of which habit you wish to develop, such as a studying technique or a green diet, and give yourself a head start. 

Write down some motivating affirmations.

These will come in handy when you’re dealing with stress. Drawing a blank? How about, “I have all the tools I need to succeed.”

Know the resources available to you. 

Colleges and universities are hot spots for community and student resources. From mental health services, free lectures and events, to the plethora of academic resources, you’ll want to know everything you can access. 

Do nothing all day.

A girl spending a relaxing day on the couch, lying around, and doing nothing.

Grab your favorite snacks, the coziest blanket, and put on a nostalgic movie. It’s okay to do nothing sometimes. 

It’s important to remember the good times you’ve had even though life goes by fast. Try not to get too caught up in perfecting your summer bucket list. Instead, live in the moment, and you’ll have the best summer yet!

Written by The Metamorphosis

The Metamorphosis is a lifestyle blog about the journey of college to adulting. Here you can find the tips for college, self-improvement, adulting, and more.

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