Summer is the time to kick back, relax and enjoy the time off from school, right? Sleeping in, hanging out with friends, going to the beach–what more could there be? Well, if you’re thinking about college, you should be making the most of your summer. There are a lot of ways to make your summer both fun and productive.
Summer is a great time to get a job and start saving for college expenses. Depending on where you live, you can get a job mowing lawns, babysitting, being a cashier at a grocery store or maybe find some work that is related to a career interest. It doesn’t have to be a full time job nor does it have to be something that you want to do for the rest of your life. College is expensive so saving up some money while you’re still in high school is a good thing.
Giving back to your community is a great thing to do. There are so many ways to volunteer. Do you love to read? Maybe your local public library needs some help organizing/reshelving books. Do you love being outdoors? Check to see if there’s a local land trust or state park that needs help trail building. Those organizations may also have some indoor work such as filing or stuffing envelopes. Your local church is another good place to look for volunteer opportunities. Volunteering/community service not only helps out the community, but it helps you make connections and it feels good to be of help. Who knows, maybe you’ll get an idea for a college application essay through your service.
These may be harder to find in your local area but if you have the ability to travel, there are opportunities out there. Just be aware that most internships are unpaid. Some of my students live on the coast of Maine near two large research laboratories. Each summer, these labs offer internships for local high school students. One of my students went through the internship a number of years ago and she will soon be graduating from Bowdoin College with a biology degree and is applying to medical schools. She said that the internship solidified her choice of pursuing a medical degree.
Summer is a time for fun and relaxation but it’s also a time for you to earn some money, discover new paths, and plan for the future. Take advantage of the longer days and less structured time to explore and learn in non-school settings. You won’t regret it.