Planning for your summer break might be the last thing on your mind right now. It’s only February, and with the uncertainty of the pandemic, summer feels especially far away. But believe it or not, this is the time to lock in some plans so that your break is productive, engaging, and fun.
The summer is a great opportunity to explore your academic, extracurricular, and career interests in depth. And the good news this year is that most summer programs are still being offered. Many (if not most) have switched to a virtual format and some are planning to go ahead in person. Regardless, flexibility is the name of the game. Plans might change as the course of the pandemic evolves, but there’s good reason to be optimistic that this summer will provide some substantive opportunities, both and virtually and in person. And with more being done online this year (and a year of virtual programming under our collective belts), you may even find it’s easier to do something robust that you love.
Many sports camps are planning to go ahead as usual this summer. Some theater programs, too, are planning to meet in person, while others have already announced they will be conducted online. For some students, the surge in online classes may be a real benefit. Artists and musicians can find a huge variety of virtual classes, and often at a much lower cost than those offered in person.
For those hoping to gain work experience, there’s also plenty to do. You can reach out to businesses to see if they have any shadowing opportunities, or you can offer to volunteer your services as an unpaid intern. If you want to earn some money over the summer, check your local listings for jobs in your area or look for remote work, which has become much more common now. You can also get involved in a political campaign, or if journalism is your thing, approach your local newspaper about submitting a few articles.
For the more academically minded, there are many summer programs to apply to. Summer is also a good time to do some serious reading on a subject that might not be offered at your high school. You might think you need to work with a professor on an intensive research project for colleges to take notice (which is great if you have the opportunity), but as long as you’re actively pursuing your interests, colleges will recognize that.
Finally, community service is always a rewarding and productive way to spend your time. Think about what you like to do and how you can turn it into a way to help others, whether that’s by reading to young children at the local library, teaching others a skill you possess, or volunteering with a local organization.
How you spend your summer is important for your college applications, and it helps you learn more about yourself and what your interests and strengths are. There is no one way to spend a summer that colleges prefer, or that “looks better” on a college application, as long as you are engaged in something interesting, challenging, or meaningful in some way.
Tailored advice on how to make the most of your summer is available through our services at Expert Admissions.