There are many wonderful opportunities that you can take advantage of during the summer! Make sure that you are continuing to learn this summer. In today’s competitive college admissions market, you want to make the most of your summer days. Colleges look for students who dedicate themselves to activities and projects to build a well-rounded incoming freshman class. Admission officers look for students who demonstrate interesting and diverse perspectives. The summer is a great time for you to think about the future. The last thing you want your summer to say is that you are lazy, spending your summers on the couch watching television and playing video games. Colleges don’t offer admission to unmotivated students. They offer admission to students who are well-rounded, and demonstrate a commitment to activities outside the classroom.Summer is a good time to deepen your interests without time constraints.
Here are some suggestions for this summer:
There are all kinds of volunteer opportunities in your community from an animal shelter, to the public library, to reading to children in a hospital, to working with others on beach cleanup. Since there are so many activities available, choose the one that interests you and will communicate your passion to colleges. It’s better to pick one activity that lasts the entire summer than multiple activities. This will show admissions your willingness to commit to a project and see it through.
A unique idea is to go to your school principal and ask if there is something you can do to improve the school: Paint a classroom, clean the lockers in preparation for the new school year, or refurbish benches on the athletic fields. Some schools count volunteer time for senior service awards. This also can be put on your college resume.
2. Take classes
Summer school might be the last thing you want to do over the summer, but going to summer school to further your education will impress colleges. You can take summer courses at your high school or even at your local community college. This is a great way to advance your math or language skills. It’s also possible to take credit-bearing summer courses offered to juniors and seniors at the local community college. Look at the classes that meet general education requirements in a variety of introductory subjects. Most colleges will accept these basic credits and you will be able to enter college with a few credits under your belt.
3. Attend college programs for high school students
Some colleges offer study programs high school students. Some programs, like the one Harvard offers, last six to eight weeks and are rigorous academically. Many colleges also host programs to explore such areas as medicine, engineering, communications, business, and any number of academic directions, some of which are more interdisciplinary, others more pre-professional or experiential. Other programs are geared toward your specific area of interest.
If you are interested in exploring the world of sharks while taking steps to help the environment, there is a summer program available. There are summer programs available for a variety of interests. Search for a program that not only keeps your interest, but also adds to your knowledge and experience. If you’re not sure where to start, look at the summer options at the schools on your preliminary college list.
4. Make college connections
Visit some of the colleges on your list and make connections with the staff. Since most college offices remain open during the summer, you can pay an informal visit or meet someone in admissions for an interview. How will this impress them? Colleges look for students who are genuinely interested in attending. They actually keep track of who visits and who meets with them. Get a card or an email address and connect after the visit. When application time rolls around, you’ll have a leg up on other applicants who didn’t find the time to visit. It is extremely important to see the campus and tour the area. You do not want to accept college admission without ever seeing the place! A visit will also keep you motivated the rest of the year. You can also take virtual tours to help narrow down the choices and expenses. If you want to see three colleges and two are in your area make sure to visit those two. You can also visit one during the school year or attend an open house in the fall.
5. Use your time wisely
You could spend your summer creating a significant online presence. The key word here is “significant”. This doesn’t mean you should live on Facebook or Twitter. An online presence that showcases your strengths and abilities will give colleges a picture of you that they won’t see by looking at transcripts or test scores. Start a blog and post often. You can also read books that will be on the required freshman reading list. You could also write your college resume and essays. Remember to add each activity to your college resume. If you keep it updated then it will not be so overwhelming to write when needed.
Make the most of your summer opportunities and you will find the college application process much easier!