Gone are the days when high school students are required to write the mundane "what I did over my summer vacation" essay. However, it doesn't mean that how they choose to spend their summers is any less important. In fact, it can significantly impact their college applications and set them apart from their peers.
One of the key components of a strong college application is demonstrating how a student has distinguished themselves from others. During the academic year, it can be challenging to stand out when everyone at their high school has access to the same opportunities, rigorous classes, clubs, and activities. This is where summer shines as a great opportunity for students to do something different and noteworthy.
Think of summer as a blank canvas, waiting to be filled with experiences that are important and meaningful to you. I often recommend creating a patchwork quilt of diverse summer experiences. While pursuing academic interests in a college environment is a valuable option, it's not the only avenue. Here are some ideas for high school students to consider:
Make a Difference: Engage in your community through service projects or internships. Volunteering demonstrates your commitment to helping others and can have a positive impact on both your personal growth and college applications.
Gain Work Experience: Paid jobs are highly regarded by colleges as they showcase maturity, responsibility, and dedication. Don't underestimate the value of entry-level positions in supermarkets, restaurants, or retail establishments. They provide excellent training grounds and an opportunity to develop essential life skills.
Develop Leadership Skills: Leadership is a highly sought-after skill by colleges. Look for leadership training programs or take on leadership roles within clubs and organizations. These experiences not only enhance your college applications but also prepare you for future leadership opportunities in college.
Explore Career Options: Consider internships or job-shadowing opportunities to gain insights into different professions. Experiencing the day-to-day life of specific careers can be eye-opening and help you make informed decisions about your future path.
Embrace Entrepreneurship: Challenge yourself to start something new. Collaborate with a friend to create a business venture and gain firsthand experience in entrepreneurship. Not only can this be a fulfilling and financially rewarding endeavor, but it also showcases your initiative and innovative thinking.
Plan for the Future: Use the summer to prepare for the upcoming academic year and the college application process. Invest time in standardized test preparation, finalize your college list, visit campuses, and even begin working on your college essays. Being proactive in these areas will alleviate stress and put you in a better position when the application season arrives.
Remember, summer is not just about productivity and college preparation. It's also essential to relax, have fun, and recharge before the next school year begins. Balancing work and leisure will contribute to your overall well-being and make your summer experience even more enjoyable.
Make the most of your high school years by embracing the opportunities summer brings. Use this time to grow, explore your interests, and challenge yourself. By doing so, you'll not only have a memorable summer but also lay a strong foundation for your future college success.
Wishing you an enriching and rewarding summer ahead!