5 Things to Do With Your Summer (And How They’ll Help You!)
WHILE IT’S TEMPTING TO SPEND your summer just working on your tan and catching up on sleep, there are other options to pass your time. Best of all, they can all be fun AND useful on your college applications! You’ll have to decide which, if any, are right for you, but at least you can start planning your summer “in the know.”
- ENROLL IN A PRE-COLLEGE PROGRAM. Most colleges offer some type of pre-college program. For some, it’s a six-week course that has you living on campus and earning real college credits. Others may have shorter offerings, like a daylong workshop or one-week course that allows you to commute. As for topics, you’d be hard-pressed not to find something you like. From engineering and business to medicine, art and politics, there’s something for every interest.
- VOLUNTEER. What do you love doing SO much that you don’t need a paycheck to make it worthwhile? Playing with dogs at the Humane Society? Feeding the homeless at your local shelter? Mentoring a younger child through a Big Brothers Big Sisters program? Few things are more rewarding then helping others, and it shows college admissions reps that you’re compassionate, driven and a great contribution to your community (and later, your campus community).
- TRAVEL ABROAD. If you’ve got the means to travel abroad, do it! Colleges look for worldly students, and visiting another country is a great way to learn about its culture and history. If you can pick up a second (or third) language along the way, even better! Be sure to include your experience somewhere in your application and/or in
- GET AN INTERNSHIP. Similar to volunteering, most internships are unpaid. The main difference is that internships show your passion for a particular field of work, and you’ll likely have an actual workload (and maybe even a title, such as “social media director”). Internships are a great way to build your résumé for college applications, learn things that other teens your age don’t and help you dabble in a job or industry to see if it’s something you truly want to pursue.
- GET A JOB. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that fast-food or lifeguard jobs don’t mean anything to college admissions boards. Being employed at a young age shows a good work ethic and that you’re responsible and trustworthy. Of course, there’s also that awesome part about getting a paycheck!
Whatever you do with your summer, make it worthwhile! You’ll still have plenty of time to kick up your heels, but you’ll have a leg up on the slackers!