Things to do to Prepare for College

There are many resources discussing how to get ready for college the summer before in general. Here are things to do to prepare for college as a mechanic.
Summer is a great time to rest and clear your head before the upcoming school year. Especially when it is the summer after your senior year of high school.

Even though it can be restful, summer is the perfect time to get ahead of your competition by getting ready for community college. You may be asking why and how to get ready for college the summer before?

Well, since the base pay of a mechanic is often lower than average in any given area, using summers to get ahead will allow you to demand higher pay from the beginning. Let’s get into the best things to do to prepare for college as a mechanic so you can make this happen.

How to Get Ready for College the Summer Before:

     Gain Experience in an Auto Shop

One of the most important things to have when becoming an auto mechanic is having experience working in an auto shop. Since auto shops are unlike most other work environments, having just one summer’s worth of experience working in one will put you miles ahead. Managers of auto shops are constantly looking for new technicians who have experience and are ASE certified or on their way to becoming certified.

Career Benefits

That being said, before you can take any tests to gain your ASE certifications, you will need at least 1 year of experience while most certifications require 2 years of experience. Imagine if you spent your summers working part-time in an auto shop rather than spending all day doing nothing… You would have enough experience to take your first certification test upon completion of your course. That means you will be able to demand a higher wage fresh out of college.

School Benefits

On top of any benefits to your career as an auto mechanic, gaining work experience helps your studies as well. When you have experience working in the field you are studying, it makes it much easier to apply the things you learn. This is especially true in a field that is as “hands-on” as the automotive repair industry.

Think about times you are learning about the periodic table in chemistry class. Concepts can be extremely hard to grasp until you get in the lab and watch the chemicals react and maybe explode. Once you create the explosion, you understand the concept of chemical reactions.

This is true even in automotive technology. Understanding how a transmission works is easier if you have already taken one apart and put it back together. Even if you are working as an assistant, being involved in the process to any extent is very beneficial. When sitting in class, you will find yourself thinking back to your time in the auto shop. Your learning experience will be enhanced and you will be much better off for it.

     Work on Your Physical Health

As an auto mechanic, keeping your body healthy is extremely important. When thinking about things to do to prepare for college, this should be high on your list. With an unhealthy body, you are much more prone to injury. If you get injured, you will be without an income for as long as your injury inhibits your work.

So, these are things to do to prepare your body when considering how to get ready for college the summer before as an auto mechanic. First of all, it can be a great idea to create a habit of working out regularly. Working out does not have to be Olympic style power-lifting. Instead, it can be cardio mixed with lots of wrist, shoulder, and back strengthening exercises. Along with strengthening, flexibility is very important. Auto mechanics spend hours on their knees with their arms above raised twisting their back to reach specific parts of a vehicle. So, having a flexible back and flexible joints will prevent injury.

On top of exercise, diet is very important. Auto mechanics work long hours and there are many different pros and cons to this job. Having a healthy diet will help you have enough energy to last throughout the day. When you have sufficient energy for the day, you make less mistakes and are often happier when you get home. Summer is a perfect time to figure out what diet is realistic for your situation. Then, make note of it and stick to it throughout the year.

     Hone Your Communication Skills

As an auto mechanic, you will be constantly needing to communicate efficiently and effectively. This will start in your automotive program. So, it is a good idea to get a head start on this making it one of the best things to do to prepare for college as an auto mechanic. Many people think communications are only verbal, but they can be improved through reading and writing. This is one of the best ways to learn communication skills when you have some spare time. The University of Pittsburgh-Bradford has this great resource to become a better communicator.

When you are in college, you will be tasked with many different projects where you will need to write essays based off of information in your textbooks. Along with that, you will need to communicate with your instructor to ask questions and gain knowledge at your own rate. Once you leave school, you will be constantly communicating with your coworkers, managers, and customers. If you can do this clearly and concisely, your customers and coworkers will enjoy working with you much more. This means you will bring customers back to you time and time again which is great for business.

     Understand Your Financial Situation

Finances can be one of the most stress-inducing aspects of college. When you are working through how to get ready for college the summer before, getting a grasp on your financial situation will help you tremendously. Speak with your parents or guardians along with your college counselor. They will be able to assist you in setting realistic expectations on the cost of your education. Whether you are getting help from your family to pay for school or you are applying for financial aid, it is essential to understand the ins and outs.

Once you understand what it will take financially to attend a trade school or other automotive training program, you should start applying for scholarships. The more scholarships you can earn, the less you will have to pay out of pocket and the less debt you will end with. There are all sorts of scholarships out there, find the ones that apply to your situation and go after them. Be sure to apply for our own scholarship for aspiring mechanics.

Things to Do to Prepare for College – Relax and Enjoy

Now that you’ve made it this far, take some time to sit back and enjoy the summer. Although it is important to focus on how to get ready for college the summer before, it is also important to forget about it. Take some time to dive into a hobby, hang out with friends, play some video games, go to the lake or the beach (or both), play your favorite sport, go camping, go on a road trip, do something fun. College can be challenging so it’s a good idea to take a real break before you jump in.

When working through the things to do to prepare for college, questions may arise. You might not know exactly what to do or where to go. Maybe you need help to find the right school, with  applying for scholarships, or perhaps you need some study tips. We can help with all of these things. Fill out our contact form with any comments, questions, or concerns and we will get in touch with you quickly. Our goal is to assist aspiring auto mechanics in achieving their goals.

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