The ultimate summer bucket list


College is a big deal. When your student goes off to college, you probably won’t be seeing as much of them as you’re used to. Especially if they’re living on campus or going to school out of town. So take some time to celebrate your student for all their accomplishments and spend some time with them before they enter this new chapter in their lives. You’ll be glad you did. Need some ideas for ways to do this? We’ve got you covered. Here are 10 of our best things to do for your summer send-off with your student.

  1. Take a road trip. Why? Because the time you spend in the car together will offer plenty of opportunities for you both to speak openly about how far your student has come, what’s next in their journey and how they’re feeling about it. In other words, it’s a good chance to bond. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a day trip or a two-month jaunt across the country — it will be precious time well spent.

  2. Watch the sunrise. Sometimes seeing things like the stars or the sunrise makes us realize how big it all is, how beautiful it all can be and how blessed we all are. What’s better than that? Sharing it with someone you love, that’s what. So set the alarm early (you’ll thank yourself later) and go take in a sunrise with your student. Pro tip: Don’t snap a pic. Just stay in the moment. Your phone’s camera probably won’t do the sunrise justice anyway.

  3. Watch five college-themed movies. What’s a more fun way to get ready for college than to watch movies about college together? (Monsters University is our favorite.) Just remember that many college-themed movies can be, well, a bit much. Be sure to consider your viewing audience as well as your comfort levels before you watch.

  4. Ride a roller coaster. A roller coaster can signify the up-and-down journey your student took to get to college as well as the up-and-down journey that college itself will likely be. Plus, screaming at the top of your lungs together is just plain fun.

  5. Visit a favorite spot and somewhere new in your hometown. If you have a favorite restaurant, park or other place in your hometown, visit it together at least once over the summer. You may not get to go again for a long time. And while you’re at it, visit a place in your hometown you’ve never been to before. Whether it turns out to be a good experience or a not-so-good one, it’ll be an unforgettable memory you made with your student just before an important life change.

  6. Get something that matches just for the two (or three or four) of you. This could be matching bracelets, matching T-shirts, even matching tattoos if that’s your thing. It will be something special just for the two of you (or the family) and it will remind you of each other every time you look at it. 

  7. Take selfies together all around town. This way your student will have plenty of pictures (at least 10) of you and them together, as well as pictures of their hometown.

  8. Do some random acts of kindness. Nothing like starting your student’s college experience with some good karma, right? Volunteer, pay someone’s expired parking meter, or pay for the meal of the person in the drive thru line behind you.

  9. Family water balloon fight. Or pillow fight, flag football game, or dance party. Something super fun that you’ll all remember and think about fondly during those times when your student is at college and you or they are feeling a little lonely.

  10. Host an outdoor picnic or bonfire with family and friends.Plan this for a few days before your student heads to college. This will be the perfect opportunity for family, friends and neighbors to say goodbye and good luck to your student.

This list isn’t comprehensive. You probably have other good ideas for things you and your student can do together over the summer. Write them down, plan them out, make them happen and have fun!