College Access and Success

Summer Melt Series: Tips for Staying Organized Before Starting College

by Naomi Lansing

Photo of DeMario

For the final piece in our blog series about preventing summer melt, we interviewed CAP College Coach Naomi Lansing, who is an organizational guru. In the interview, Ms. Lansing shares advice to help students and parents stay organized during the summer before the first year of college.


What are the biggest organizational challenges incoming freshmen face during the summer?

The first big challenge is all staying on top of the tasks related to college admissions and enrollment. These tasks include managing document submission deadlines, planning to attend orientation, receiving housing assignments, remembering to read emails from administrators, and even communicating with roommates to determine who brings what to furnish their dorm room.

The second big organizational challenge is a mindset one. The transition from high school to college is especially jarring in terms of the shift in accountability. As a high school student, teachers took on the responsibility of planning days and managing time, breaking assignments down, giving reminders, and helping students stay on track. In college, students must do all of this for themselves, all while managing newfound freedom and adjusting to a new environment.


What are some organization techniques and tools incoming freshmen can use to stay organized during the summer?


How can counselors and parents support incoming freshmen in staying organized over the summer?


How can organization help a student reach his or her college goals?

Students who use planners tend to be the most organized, which leads to maximizing their time and getting to do all the things they want—whether it’s landing their ideal internship, saving up for a fun Spring Break trip with friends, having a big graduation party to celebrate, or just getting back time to themselves for Netflix and sleeping in.