Planning for summer activities!
It’s the dead of winter, so of course you’re thinking about summer! Many students ask us how their summer activities fit into their overall educational planning. Here are five suggestions from the Marks Education Counseling Team:
Time to give back: Summer is a great time for service work. Wondering what to do? Look for opportunities that link with your current interests and activities: find a way to use a second language, for example, or share your passion for technology, or a favorite sport. Many different service experiences can have a meaningful impact but volunteering close to home is an amazing opportunity to get to know your community in a new way. You may find you love it so much, you keep it up year-round!
Supercharge your extracurriculars: You might like to take advantage of summer to focus on an extracurricular in athletics, debate, or the arts. At a summer camp or institute, you can sharpen your skills, learn from new coaches or teachers, and form lifelong friendships. Be sure to talk with your current coaches or teachers about possibilities, as they may have insight into what could be the best fit for you.
Leadership and ownership: A job or internship can provide an opportunity to take responsibility, learn, and grow. A “regular job” can expose you to different people and environments and might even provide great material for your college essays. Internships can be extremely valuable experiences, too, but it’s important to seek out one that includes substantial work—responsibilities that go beyond filing, making coffee, and “shadowing” a professional.
Test drive or deep dive: Many universities offer academic programs in the summer, both residential and nonresidential. It’s a great way to get a feeling for college life so you have a better idea of what you like when researching schools. Some programs offer a range of courses, allowing you to try out subjects that you might like to pursue in college. Other programs have focused institutes on a particular topic, so you can delve deeply into just one. It’s important to note that attendance at a college program won’t raise your chances of admission at that school, but you’ll gain perspective for your college search, and a once-in-a-lifetime experience!
Recharge and have fun: Most importantly, be sure to save time to visit family, travel, and just relax!
As you’re considering your summer schedule, a reasonable amount of test prep (the summer before 11th grade) or college essay work (the summer before 12th) can help you get ahead. You have a lot more on your plate during the school year, so you’ll be more focused without the pressure of academic deadlines. And when school’s in session, you’ll have more time for everything else.