So, you’re counting down the days before the end of junior year. As summer break inches closer, you may be wondering how you can maximize the time you have left before senior year to give your college applications that extra “cherry on top.” Here are a few things to consider when planning your summer activities.
Enroll in a community college course. If you’re looking for a way to show colleges that you can handle higher-level coursework (and beef up your transcripts), start looking for summer classes offered to high school students at your local community college. In many summer programs, high school students take classes on campus and may have the opportunity to live in student housing. Keep in mind that these courses will be recorded on your college transcripts as well, so you’ll want to make sure you’re ready and give it your best effort.
Research internship opportunities. Are you interested in a certain career field? Internships are a great way to get an introduction to an organization or business within a certain industry. Each internship varies in its expectations, so be sure to read through the requirements of each internship to find one that is a good fit for you.
Register for a high school summer program. With more colleges and universities reopening for in-person events, most schools host specialized programs for rising juniors and seniors over the summer. Spots are limited for most programs, so start looking soon!
Find a part-time job. Having a job as a high school student (even if it’s just for the summer) is a way to show that you can handle real-world responsibilities, as well as working in a team environment. Building a work history now will help you develop a new skillset that will make you stand out on college applications.
Volunteer in your community. When considering volunteer opportunities in your area, think about which organizations or programs you are most interested in. This will help you identify which types of activities you would enjoy, making it more likely that you’d be willing to commit to a few hours per week (or however it works with your schedule), rather than “jumping” from one organization to another. On a college application, consistency is key.
Schedule college tours. Summer is the great time to plan a few college visits. Although college classes may not be in full swing, neither are yours. Why not take advantage of your reduced workload, and maybe even turn your campus tours into a mini vacation by visiting the surrounding cities or towns. This will give you even more insight into what it’s like to live on or near that college campus.
Have fun! Don’t forget to also enjoy your time off. Have you been putting off taking a painting class or reading some of your poetry aloud during a creative writing workshop? Make a list of all the things you have been wanting to do, but the demands of school did not allow you to pursue. By giving yourself some creative outlets, you will be able to rest and recharge- that’s also what summer breaks are for, after all!