By Tyler Mercer–

Save yourself some stress by getting a head start on packing for the summer.

This time last year, I was wrapping up my freshmen year of college and it had simply flown by me. I was not prepared to give up all the fun I was having to return to my hometown in rural, western Kentucky.

The end of the semester can be a stressful time if you only look at it as a time to wrap up your classes and take all of your finals. However, as a freshman in college it also means that it’s time to pack up all of your belongings that you brought to school, because you have to move back home.

Even though you may have a few weeks before you will absolutely have to be out of your dorm room, it is a good idea to start preparing for the move now. Think about packing up a lot of your winter clothes and most of the things in your room that you don’t use on a regular basis. If you’re able to pack up most of your belongings before your finals, you will have less to stress about during and after finals. Not to mention, your room will be neat and clean to provide a peaceful study environment.

There are other things you need to start thinking about as summer comes closer and closer. Since you’ve been off to college, some things may have changed at home or with you personally. If moving home, you may need some time to adjust.

Even if nothing has changed, it will take time for you to redeem home life with the parents. At college you’ve had quite a bit more freedom in what you do, when you come home at night and for most of the amount of partying you do. Your parents may have enforced rules about these things while you were in high school and it’s likely that they will continue enforcing them now.

There are some parents who will loosen the reigns now that you’ve had some time to learn about personal responsibility and gain a bit more maturity. Those are the few and far between, so everyone needs to be prepared to go home to a few ground rules. It will make summer more enjoyable and will probably prevent a few arguments.

Before you start thinking that this summer will be party summer 24/7, you should consider getting a summer job, if you haven’t already. Maybe an employer from high school could let you rejoin the team, but you may also have to seek a new job. It is a good idea to start the job search now, while you’re still in Louisville, so that when you do move home the job will be waiting for you to start right away.

Summer is a great time for reunions with old friends from high school. There may be people you haven’t seen since last summer or even graduation that you were pretty close to and it will be exciting to reunite. It is important to keep this in mind: while you may have changed over the past several months while living in Louisville attending U of L, your friends may have also changed. This could change the dynamics of your relationship at first, but be patient with your friends so that you can enjoy your time together.

Summer is an exciting time for everyone, but especially for you, freshmen! It will be your first summer of college and I promise, these are the best summers.

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