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5 Ideas for Maximizing your Summer

Updated: Dec 20, 2023

School is out, and colleges mostly care about grades, so time to sit back and binge watch Netflix for 12 glorious weeks! Not so fast. Colleges expect that you maximize your opportunities within your context. What does that mean? It means you use the resources available to create meaningful experiences. Here are 5 ideas to make your summer resume-worthy.

1. Learning knows no bounds

Your pre-college program shows your passion for pursuing your interest. Especially if you are looking at a competitive field, like computer science, business or engineering. It shows you have demonstrated interest in that area. On campus programs can be expensive, but since COVID may have developed affordable online options. A quick google search will help you identify programs in your area of interest and to match your availability and budget. Some even offer college credit. Also, many top colleges offer free and low-cost courses via MOOC and Coursera.

2. Get a job or be an entrepreneur

Nothing teaches you time management and responsibility like a summer job, not to mention the money you can put away for college. You can look for a job in an area that is tangential to what you are interested in studying, e.g., working in a retail store can teach you a lot about marketing. Want to be your own boss? Put your skills to work. Play the trumpet? Offer online Zoom lessons to beginner band students. Start a tutoring service to help struggling students.

3. Give back

There is no shortage of people in need. Look for volunteer opportunities in your community at the food bank, animal shelter, hospitals, library. Reach out to local nursing homes and see if you can do online Zoom conversations to relieve loneliness for seniors.

4. Explore

Follow your interests. If you've always been interested in photography but never had the time--now you've got it. Dust off that guitar and find a YouTube tutorial on basic chords. Download the Duolingo app and start those Japanese lessons. Is your sport over for the season? Work on conditioning. Whatever it is, if you're committing your time to a passion, that reflects intention and drive.

5. Get a jump on your college search and applications

Even if college feels far away, you will relieve a lot of stress by getting an early start. Sophomores and juniors can start researching schools, taking virtual or physical tours, and assembling a list of prospective schools. Seniors can use the summer to refine their resumes, draft the essays, and narrow down their school lists, setting themselves up for a successful fall application process. Don't know where to start? Let us know if we can help!

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