A few tips for enjoying summer while being productive.
Summer is finally here, which means something different to everyone. Maybe it means total relaxation. Maybe it means babysitting your younger siblings all week. Most likely it’s some combination of responsibility and fun. Whether you are headed into sophomore year or senior year, there are some things all high school students can do over the summer to prepare them for the coming year.
- Take a break. We all have responsibilities over the summer — work, practice, family obligations — but it’s important to find time to unwind. The academic year is taxing and summer should be a time to rest your body and mind to get ready for the coming year. That is not an excuse to do nothing all summer; just a reminder to take care of yourself!
- Explore your passions. The school year can be very structured with classes, clubs, sports, jobs, etc. The summer can provide a little more free time to explore your passions. Read a book you actually want to read. Apply for internships and jobs in fields of interest. Start a blog. Do the thing you’ve been wanting to do all year.
- Plan a college road trip. Summer is a great time to visit college campuses because you don’t need to worry about missing any school time. Keep in mind that most campuses will look different in the summer versus during the school year. If you aren’t able to afford the cost of traveling to campus, ask about travel scholarships and fly-in programs.
- Get a jump on your college search. Check out our College Tips for Juniors (hint: they are good tips for everyone!) on getting your college search and application process started. Even if you aren’t able to visit campuses, you can start filling out your College Tracker with information you find online.
- Reflect. Think about the last year. What went well? What could have gone better? What did you enjoy? What did you learn? Use these questions to not only shape the year ahead, but also consider them as you research colleges and universities. For example, if you really enjoyed getting to know your math teacher, you may want to look at schools with low student to faculty ratios that foster close working partnerships. Being aware of your strengths and preferences can help make the college search process smoother.
This short list is by no means exhaustive. It is just a start. There are tons of things you can do to have an enjoyable and productive summer. If you don’t know what do to, just do something. Research a random college. Read a random book. Start a random show on Netflix. Inspiration and information can be found in many places. See where it leads you and enjoy the journey.