Spring prep for fall

Spring prep for fall

As the end of the spring semester approaches, all thoughts turn to summer. College students can’t wait to be done with their schoolwork and families count the days until they come home. The focus is on finishing.

Before they pack up and move out, though, there are a few things your student can do to be ready for a running start when they return in the fall.

Here are conversation starters for this final month.

1. Is your fall course schedule confirmed?

Check to see that you have the appropriate number of credits, courses that will help you progress, and pre-requisites for courses you want to take in future semesters. If you’re not sure what you need, talk to your advisor.

2. Make sure your fall housing arrangements are in place, whether on or off campus.
3. Finish strong in all of your classes!

If there’s a chance there’s something you can’t finish, and you’ve made arrangements for an Incomplete, meet with the instructor to make a plan to submit unfinished work over the summer.

4. Settle plans for a fall internship before you leave.

Is necessary paperwork done? Could you meet with a site supervisor now to have a head start in the fall?

5. Investigate a fall on-campus job.

Even if you can’t pin down the position now, you can get ahead of the September rush by visiting the office or person who will be hiring to make an initial connection.

6. Get a jump on textbooks.

Do you know anyone currently taking the courses you’ll take next fall? Ask if they’ll sell their textbooks directly. Everyone wins because you’ll get them for less than you’d pay for used in the bookstore and you can offer more than they might get selling back to the bookstore. Do you know anyone who will be taking a course in the fall that you’re taking now? Are they interested in your books?

7. Address any anticipated changes for the fall.

Will you bring a car for the first time? Are you changing majors? Will you have a new advisor? Take care of some of the details now, or at least get the information that you need. (If there are things that must wait until fall, make a to-do list while it’s all fresh in your mind.)

8. Prepare for fall leadership positions.

Can you meet with the club or organization’s advisor or outgoing officer before you leave to lay some groundwork?


For more tips on wrapping up spring semester and preparing for move-out, see our “End of Semester Checklist for College Parents.”


Vicki Nelson

Vicki Nelson has more than thirty-five years of experience in higher education as a professor, academic advisor and administrator. She also has weathered the college parenting experience successfully with three daughters. She began her website, College Parent Central, to help college parents achieve the delicate balance of support, guidance, appropriate involvement, and knowing when to get out of the way.

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  • Great article. It reminded me to ask my high school senior about which of her preferred colleges have reached out about a regional event. We attended an event like this with our older daughter who was attending school far from home and it was very valuable.