We hope you are having a great February. Spring has not arrived yet, however, parents are already planning for the summer. Why? Because many summer deadlines are rapidly approaching. So, how should you plan your summer? More importantly, how should you plan a fun, enjoyable, yet strategic summer? Having the right summer game plan can maximize your college planning success and give you an edge in the college admissions process, so it’s important to think strategically.
Here are five ways to make the most of your summer:
Academics – If you are passionate about a subject, then this is a great opportunity to build upon your area of interest by taking an additional class. For example, if you like the sciences, you can take an extra science class that your high school does not provide. Classes can oftentimes be taken at a local college. This also applies to many other subjects: 1. Business, 2. Law, 3. Computer science, etc. Admissions officers like to see students who take the initiative to build upon their academic passions.
Enrichment Program – Many colleges offer enrichment programs that can help students build upon their passions. These programs might be for a certificate of completion or you can get college credit. The programs can go beyond the content of a class by offering field trips, guest speakers, and/or a project. Enrichment programs can be a great way to delve deeper into your interests/passions.
Volunteer – There are many ways to give back throughout the summer that can not only be personally rewarding, but also strategic. Some areas of volunteering can include through non-profit organizations, charity events, religious affiliations, and personal interests. The goal is to pursue those opportunities you enjoy, make meaningful contributions, and take a lead when you can.
Work — Getting a part-time job can also be a way to have an enriching summer. Grades and test scores come first, but adding real-world experience to your summer can show admissions officers your work ethic, commitment, and responsibility to a job. You can also pursue a job related to your major and learn important career and life skills.
Have Fun — The summer is a great time to be productive and prepare for college, but it’s also important to have a balanced life. Students should spend a good amount of time just having fun, whether it’s spending time with family and friends, or engaging in hobbies and interests. The movie, “Race to Nowhere,” is a wonderful film that depicts the stresses students encounter as they push themselves to be top performers. Many times, the stress is so great that it leads to severe medical conditions, or worse. It’s important to put your education in perspective with your lifelong goals, but to also be balanced.
The summer is an important time where students can be strategic, yet have fun. It’s a time where students can further develop their competitiveness as a future college applicant, but also a time when students can relax, enjoy some time off, and rejuvenate themselves. Remember, the key is balance.
We hope we have given you important strategies to plan your summer.
In Success and Achievement,
Dr. Jeff & Dr. Brian Haig