Thirteen long years. Twenty-six semesters, four proms, countless teachers, and you’ve graduated high school — but you’re still not done with school. As much as you wish you were, it’ll be awhile before you get your hands on your next diploma. U-bound, that’s you.
But don’t be too eager. The secondary-education years are time to prepare and explore and, says Hailey Bondy, there are still “77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College.”
So, in a few months, it’ll be campus life for you: freedom, friends, parties, and lots of big decisions. It’s exciting but it can also be overwhelming, even if you’re an upperclassman. Your survival and sanity may depend on this book.
First, before you even pack the car to go to college, de-clutter your life. Toss “junk,” keep what’s important, and know what’s worth schlepping to your new dorm or apartment.
Speaking of apartments, now’s the time to learn how to get one. You’ll also want to know how to make it a home and, while you’re at it, Bondy says to learn to cook one decent meal there. Why not try something you’ve never eaten before? Or this: learn that it’s okay — even desirable — to go to a real restaurant (not a chain!) and dine alone.
College is also a good place to hone your conversational skills. Have a real talk with a professor (but don’t brownnose). Talk with an “elder local” and listen to what life was like 60 or 80 years ago. Volunteer to give tours in your new hometown and be ready (and knowledgeable enough) to answer questions.
Get politically active by attending a council meeting or volunteering for a political campaign. Go to the library, just because. Learn a new language. Understand that naps are not just for toddlers. Learn survival and self-defense skills. Ask someone on an old-fashioned date, but know how to be safe and how to end arguments and relationships. Learn how to make a killer resume and be financially savvy.
Finally, “forgive your own mistakes” and “break one of your own rules.” Life is too short to cling to either one.
Looking to make next year the best ever? Are you a little freaked out that you might miss an opportunity somewhere? With “77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College,” you can gather ideas now so you don’t have to worry this fall.
There’s no doubt that some of the ideas that author Hailey Bondy presents are things you’re already doing. Who, for instance, hasn’t spent some time doing volunteer work? You probably have, but Bondy takes it a step further and she also challenges her readers to get a little uncomfortable.
The nice thing about this book is that, even if you’re not quite college-bound yet, you can still get a head start on some of the activities here. For any student age 16 and up, in fact, these “77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College” are what you should get your hands on.
“77 Things You Absolutely Have to Do Before You Finish College” by Hailey Bondy [192 pages, 2014, $14.99].
Terri Schlichenmeyer has been reading since she was 3 years old, and she never goes anywhere without a book. She lives on a hill with two dogs and 12,000 books.