It's that time of year again. The weather is gradually starting to cool off, pool covers are reluctantly being retrieved from deserted corners, and juicy watermelon is being squeezed out of the market by in-season infiltrators like (gulp) squash. If you just graduated high school, this might be the first summer in your entire life that you are actually looking forward to being over. I get it. You're about to go to college! Say goodbye to nagging parents, mandatory athletic credits, and cheap beer. (Just kidding on that last one. If you think college equals classy drinks, you might want to readjust your standards). Sure, college is great and all, but you'll never be as young, naive, and financially-supported by those aforementioned parents as you are right now. Don't waste these precious last few weeks of summer waiting around for the best four years of your life. Bide your time with these 12 things to do before your freshman year of college. 

1. Learn How to Do Laundry 

An unfortunate reality of college is that, despite not yet being in the real world, your clothes are still going to get really dirty, especially if you don't wash them regularly. The real travesty here is that many college-aged kids show up to school without the slightest idea how to do their own laundry. Come on, people, it's 2018. Doing laundry is sexy now! Just ask the Maytag Man

2. Learn How to Cook (i.e. Use a Microwave)

Gone are the days of mom's home-cooked meals and dad's smartly-ordered takeout. Brace yourself. You are now entering the college dining hall. It's not scary so much as it is vast and unknown, likely offering a multi-regional culinary experience that is just as enticing as it is questionable. Unless you happen to attend one of these schools known for great on-campus food, it might be time to learn to cook, or at least learn to use a microwave for more than just popcorn. One bold, tap-happy Spoon member once microwaved a three-course feast. Ah, the wonders of modern technology.

3. Shop for Dorm Room Essentials 

Over the next few weeks, overzealous parents and Bed Bath and Beyond are going to tell you all the "essential" things you absolutely need to survive in a college dorm room. Don't listen to them. Corporate America and overbearing adults be damned! Sure, BBB has a handy dandy checklist available for almost every school in the country, but why look at that when you could just ask a current student (that lived in the same dorm) what you actually need? Don't be shy, reach out to a mutual connection on Facebook or channel your parent's' energy into meeting other families in the area with connections at your school. What if BBB tells you twinkly lights are banned from your dorm, but you find out most rooms are actually lit up like a Christmas tree? Aesthetic, saved. You're welcome.

4. Find Cheaper Ways to Get Your Textbooks

Oh, yeah. All this hype about starting college almost makes you forget you're about to have to start learning again. Ugh. While you prepare for the impending hell of Organic Chemistry (you did this to yourself, pre-meds), don't fall into the Textbook Inferno, too. There are so many places to buy those hefty paperweights on the cheap, and your college bookstore is probably not one of them. Lucky for Jeff Bezos, Amazon probably is.

#SpoonTip: Another great opportunity to network with current students is asking about the true purpose of a textbook. Will it be used for information? For killing bugs? As a mini-stage for pre-game karaoke? These are all possible, and plausible, uses for a college textbook. 

5. Find Activities on Campus to Get Involved in

Contrary to popular belief, it is possible to find free time in college amid all the studying and partying you are bound to be doing. With 24 hours in a day, it's even possible to get bored. Say it ain't so! Thankfully, there are hundreds of organizations on every college campus to ensure that you'll never have a free hour to play Fortnite or watch Netflix if you damn well don't want one. Or if you do, there's probably a club around where you can play a perpetual Battle Royale or binge watch "Friends" with other students just like you.

6. Have a Movie Night with your High School Friends  

All good things must come to an end...or so they say. I beg to differ. "Harry Potter" (actually returning to theaters this month), "Mama Mia!" (surprise! Here We Go Again!), and "Mission Impossible" are just a few examples that highlight our innate inability to let go of things we love. Before your high school friends start to depart to their respective schools, get the gang back together one last time for a movie night. It'll be your last group hang for a while, but if Hollywood has taught us anything, it's that a reboot is not a question of if, but when

7. Learn How to Drink, Responsibly 

Let's get one thing straight: Underage drinking is still illegal no matter where you go to college. However, being offered alcohol your freshman year is an inevitable, so it's best to be prepared if you intend to drink. It can be overwhelming to have your very first sips of alcohol with people you just met, so talk to someone older and learn what's comfortable for you while you're still at home, surrounded by the family and friends that know you best. 

8. Hang Out with Your Grandparents 

No, I'm not going to scold you for your reaction to reading this header. But shame on you. Of course, you should be spending ample time with your family before leaving for school (after all, they are most likely paying for it), but making an effort to meet up with your grandparents will mean a lot to them. 

9. Book Your Flight Home for Your First Break

Everybody knows that flights get more expensive the longer you wait to book. If you already know that you're coming home for break (Fall Break, Thanksgiving Break, Winter Break, etc.), best to book your flights home now, before the prices get so high that your sad, abandoned parents would rather wallow in their misery than bring you back.

10. Make Restaurant Reservations for Move-In Weekend

After watching something impactful, many people will say they were "moved to tears." The saying didn't come from teary parents seeing their children off after college move-in weekend, but you can expect major waterworks either way. With emotions running high, the smallest mishaps can send even the most composed parents into a tailspin. Move-in weekend can be a strain on many college towns too, which typically don't get too much traffic outside of students and staff. Try to avoid turning your move-in weekend into a bonafide armageddon—make restaurant reservations now and avoid waiting an hour just to grab a bite at a restaurant close to campus that isn't McDonalds (don't worry, you'll be eating plenty of delicious fast food this year). The well-meaning restaurant hosts and hostesses of the world thank you.

11. Commit to a Workout Routine Now

It seems that the hardest thing about the gym in college is getting there in the first place, especially for students that never made a habit of going at home. The key to staying in shape during your first year is establishing a workout routine that works for you, one that is so ingrained it becomes more difficult to break than it is to keep. Not to mention, the gym is the perfect place to meet other students trying to stay active. Make friends with them, and you'll have a support system to lean on when you start to feel unmotivated.

12. Sleep 

Why is it that the first thing we are taught in school is the first thing we forget when we grow older? I'm talking about the alphabet, people, and I'm seriously done with the discrimination. We put so much emphasis on the A's, B's, C's, even the D's but where is the love for getting Z's? Certainly nowhere to be found in college, where professors think assigning a novel a night is reasonable and frat boys consider a successful party one that ends when the sun comes up. We add so many things to our schedules in college, and sadly, it seems the first thing we subtract is sleep. Catch your Z's while you still can. 

The next four years of your life are going to be mind-altering. I mean, they say alcohol kills brain cells and a college education strengthens brain functioning, so your brain is in for a ride, that's for sure. Before you voluntarily consume that Keystone (barf) and study that Shakespeare play (where for art thou, fun?), make the most of these last few weeks of summer. Hey, you're not getting any younger!