The Last Summer Before College

Is this your child’s last summer at home before they venture off to college or university? I feel you, Mama. As an official empty nester, I’ve been there. It’s a stressful and exciting time. You’re so proud and thrilled for their opportunities, but you will miss them so much!

While you may want to spend every waking second with them this summer, we all know that’s not possible. Friends, jobs, and significant others will also soak up those precious moments!

Aim for quality over quantity. Make the most of the time your kiddo will carve out for you. Have fun, help them prepare for school, and also remember to spoil yourself!

12 Fun Things to Do with your Teen The Summer Before College

Resist the urge to plan every minute. Some of the most precious moments will be completely spontaneous! Try to let things happen as naturally as possible. Book a weekend just for the two of you and try out some of these ideas:

  1. Spend a weekend somewhere special (if travel is possible this summer).
  2. Take a class together.
  3. Attend a virtual concert.
  4. Have a backyard graduation party.
  5. Choose a show and spend a weekend binge-watching, chilling, and snacking.
  6. Search for free things to do in your city, and take turns picking one to visit.
  7. Get outside and discover local trails together.
  8. Go on a road trip.
  9. Spend the weekend exploring the city their college is in, testing out all the fast food, and finding the best spots.
  10. Help them plan a fun road trip with their bestie this summer.
  11. Plan a night around all of their favourite things – favourite meals, favourite games, favourite shows.
  12. Spend an afternoon looking through old photos and reminiscing.

5 Tips to Prep Your Child for College

Knowing they are covered will make both of you feel better. Tour the campus, get everything they need for their dorm room and brush up on life skills to set them up for success.

  1. Create a budget together, and go over paying bills.
  2. Help them clean out their closet and shop.
  3. Spend time on YouTube watching ‘dorm essential’ videos to see what other college students found helpful their first year.
  4. Have a deep chat about how you will always be their safe space.
  5. Acknowledge their feelings – both excitement and fear. It’s a mixed bag, and they may be all over the place, completely independent one day and then really needing you the next.

Just for you

Take this time to reinvest in yourself. If you have dedicated the last 18 or so years to your child, you may be feeling a little lost. Have fun, get spoiled, and take time to do things that make you feel great! If you are officially an empty nester, check out my post with tips on how to adjust.

  1. Take a class.
  2. Join a book club.
  3. Pick up a new hobby or craft.
  4. Seek out other empty nesters.
  5. Reach out to friends you haven’t talked to in a while.
  6. Join networking, hobby or walking groups.
  7. Be more active on social media.
  8. Consider picking up a side gig or part-time job if you aren’t working.
  9. Plan an exciting weekend for just you and your spouse or a girl’s weekend with friends.
  10. Spend one-on-one time with any kiddos who aren’t leaving the nest quite yet.

Please don’t put too much pressure on yourself or your child to make it the most memorable summer of your lives. Prepare them the best you can, and then let them go, having faith that they will make good choices. (Because you’ve raised them well, and they are intelligent and capable).

Allowing our children to go out independently, make decisions, and possibly fail in the process is healthy and necessary (although so tough on us mama bears who want to protect our cubs forever!)


You’ve got this! Join our Facebook group to connect with other moms who are in the same boat. We’d love to meet you!


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