4 Ideas for a Productive Summer Break
With many traditional summer activities temporarily on hold due to the ongoing pandemic, some students might be wondering what they should do this year to make the most of their vacation. Although it may be tempting, it’s not a good idea to enter full relaxation mode for the entire two to three months that you’re off from school.
Instead, we encourage high school students to create a plan for how they will spend their summer break in a way that aligns with their college preparation goals. Keep reading for some of our top ideas for how to have a productive summer break, even when your choice of activities may be limited.
Launch Your Own Project
If you’re ambitious, motivated, and ready to get a little creative, consider launching your own independent project this summer. Whether you create a blog, start your own business, or film a video series, conducting an independent project can be an excellent way to develop your entrepreneurial skills. If you’re interested in pursuing your own project, it’s important to create a plan of action and hold yourself accountable. Independent projects are most impactful when you are consistent, committed, and pour your energy into learning from your experience. Create a schedule for yourself and outline which tasks you wish to accomplish, when you will work on them, and what deliverables you would like to have ready by a set date. Students who are looking to make the most of an independent project might choose to work with a mentor who can guide them and offer valuable feedback throughout their journey.
Take an Online Course
While traditional on-campus summer programs may be off the table for many students, this doesn’t mean you can’t learn something new this summer. There are multiple online course offerings designed to align with every student’s interests and ambitions. Many colleges are offering online learning programs for high school students who are eager to pursue a field that they are interested in at an advanced level. For example, NYU has a 2-week Coding for Game Design course, and the University of Chicago is offering a remote Pathways in Molecular Engineering program. If you’re interested in attending a remote course, make sure to keep track of the deadlines. Students may need to apply and enroll in summer programs several months in advance, so do your research and stay on top of the deadlines.
Find a Way to Give Back
Summer can be an ideal time to take your volunteer commitments to the next level. Although in-person options may be limited due to the pandemic, there are still ways to get involved without even having to leave your living room. Students can volunteer to serve as virtual tutors for younger peers, launch their own businesses to raise money for causes they are passionate about, and much more. If you’re looking for more volunteer ideas, get in touch with your high school guidance counselor, who may know of additional opportunities in your community.
Get a Jump Start on Test Preparation
Although the SAT and ACT were optional at many colleges for the 2020-21 admissions cycle, this doesn’t mean that these exams will continue to be optional in the years to come. Even if standardized testing is optional, it doesn’t mean admissions are test-blind. A strong performance on the SAT or ACT can only serve to bolster your application, so if you plan on taking one of these exams, it’s time to start studying. Students can take advantage of the summer break to make significant progress on their test prep goals.
Although summer activity options may be more limited this year, there are plenty of ways to take advantage of your time off. If you’re planning your summer break and looking for insights from college admissions experts, our team can point you in the right direction. Contact us today to learn more about the Initial Consultation and how we can help you plan a great summer break!