Summer is always a wonderful time to be a student. It is also a great opportunity for students to engage in their interests outside of the classroom. Colleges want to see passionate students who have spent their time in meaningful ways. Summer is an ample opportunity to demonstrate this passion.
Contrary to the belief of many, expensive summer programs or trips abroad are not needed to bolster your college application. Many impressive and fulfilling activities can be both free and local. You can pick up a new skill or dive into something you have always been curious about. If you are still without summer plans, this list can help you get started:
- Read. Reading is an awesome way to learn and grow (cliché, but true). Whether you are enjoying a novel by your favorite author or trying something different, the summer is the perfect opportunity to pick up a book (after all, it can be hard to do outside reading during the school year). Amazon has a list of “100 Books to Read in a Lifetime” which is a great place to get started!
- Take a college class. If you are unable to take a class at a local college or university (these can be quite expensive), you can check out a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC). Universities including Princeton, Stanford, MIT, and the University of Pennsylvania offer MOOCs in everything ranging from data science to art history. The best thing about MOOCs is that they are completely free!
- Volunteer. Volunteering can provide an excellent experiential education. Interested in healthcare? Volunteer at a clinic. Interested in education? Help out with a college access organization. The options are endless and you can get a jumpstart on learning about a potential career.
- Get a part-time job. There is nothing wrong with earning some money over the summer. A paying, part-time job provides practical insight into the “real world.” Time-management, responsibilities, and working with different people (particularly adults) can make a part-time job a very productive experience.