One afternoon during the summer before I began college, a group of friends and I decided to hitchhike our way to Los Angeles. I spent two weeks on the beach, read books that were on my To-Do list for the longest time, ate at almost thirty taco stands, and laughed more than I’d ever thought possible. I was also able to visit my extended family and reflect on everything that had happened in that last year of high school. When August came around, I left satisfied-there was no smoke in the air that needed to be cleared.

The best thing you can do this summer is to be spontaneous. You’ve worked hard to obtain your high school diploma and soon you’ll be working even harder for your college degree; relish those two months in between. For some of my friends that meant playing soccer every day, volunteering at the animal shelter, or watching re-runs of their favorite TV shows. Whatever you choose, just make sure that classes begin and your calendar gets filled with deadlines, you have no distracting regrets.

Also, make time to draw up a budget! Besides textbooks (always compare prices on Amazon, Chegg, etc. and check if your school’s library has an extra copy), you’ll have to think about any other supplies you need. A laptop? A bigger backpack? If you’re living on-campus, what will you need for your dorm? A shower caddy? A mini-fridge? Are you going to school wear it snows or rains a lot? If you’re coming out to New England, a heavy coat and rain boots are a good investment. (I sadly didn’t learn this until the first snowstorm of my freshman winter.)

Plan accordingly and enjoy your summer-you’ve earned it!