Ahhhh......Classes are over. Time to sleep in, lounge by the pool, go to the beach. Sounds like heaven doesn't it, but (adults always have a but don't they!) summer can be so much more. I'm not saying you shouldn't sleep in, lounge by the pool, go to the beach a little. Maybe even a lot, you've worked hard all year and deserve a break. But (there's that but again) summer can also allow you to discover some really cool things about yourself and about what you love. Things you may not have had time to do during your busy school year.
I'm not talking about jamming as many activities that you possibly can into a summer to try and show a college that you are that uber well rounded student. Colleges are looking for students who take the time to discover and commit to a few passions that really define who they are. Odds are you will be happier taking part in something that you love rather than something you feel just checks off a necessary box.
Here are few tips to make the most of your summer!
1. What are you passionate about?
Don't know? Think about the things that you really enjoy. Are you
that kid that knows every baseball statistic off the top of your head?
Do you enjoy creating youtube videos? Love to travel? Can't imagine
not helping others in some way? Take time to discover what you care
2. Explore Prospective majors through pre-college programs
Most colleges have some type of summer programming. These
programs do not necessarily require you to commit for the whole
summer. They vary on length, cost, topic and residency
options. Some could be a few days, a week, etc. This exposure to an
area of interest could open up possibilities for future study. Visit
college websites or ask your counselor about possible summer
3. Job Shadow
Do you know someone that has a really cool job and you think that it
is something you might be interested in? Ask if you could spend the
day observing what their job is really like. What better way to see
the pros and cons. You might even discover other jobs that you did
not know about but seem really interesting and are related.
Do you get great satisfaction from helping others? Imagine if you
were able to combine that desire with an organization that really
interests you. Double satisfaction! Do you love animals? Spend time
volunteering at your local animal rescue. Are you creative and make
things? Donate your items to local hospitals, shelters, etc. There
are all kinds of ways to volunteer. Think outside the box!
5. Make your own opportunity
Is there something that you would really like to do? Look around your
community. Offer your services for free. Interested in research,
contact your local college or university and offer to help in a lab.
There are so many business eager for free help. Just think, not only
are you learning about an area you are interested in but you could
possibly be networking for future internships and jobs!
6. Get a job
This sounds pretty obvious but you would be surprised by how many
students don't understand the value of working during the summer. It
allows you to be independent, teaches you about money
management, self-responsibility and work ethic.(not to mention that you get a paycheck) An added bonus would be if your job related to a hobby, passion or a future area of study. An example: a student spent the summer working as a social media content manager for a small local business. She loved all that was involved in that job and is now majoring in Marketing.
7. Don't Dilly Dally
A lot of pre-college programs, summer experiences and even
part-time jobs have applications available now. Don't let someone take that opportunity from you. Start thinking about how you
want your summer to go and act.
I'm not saying that you can't spend time sleeping in, lounging by
by the pool, or going to the beach! Do it, but (there it is again)
don't just let your summer go by. Have a plan!