If you’re a high school student, you’re probably gearing up for finals right now. But before you know it, summer vacation will be here. Summer is certainly a time for relaxing, socializing, and recharging. After all, you work hard during the school year and deserve a break! However, the summer is also a great opportunity to explore your academic or extracurricular interests in depth, catch up on your reading, or gain some work experience.
Summer vacation is no reason to stop doing what you love during the school year. You can attend an athletics, music, or arts summer camp, get involved with political campaigns, or apply to summer leadership programs. You can also head over to your local library or youth center to see if they need any summer volunteers. If you love to act, audition at your community theater this summer. If journalism is your thing, approach your local newspaper about submitting a few articles.
If you’re thinking about careers, consider gaining some work experience over the summer. You can reach out to businesses and ask for an informational interview or a shadowing opportunity; you can also offer to volunteer your services as an unpaid intern. If you’re interested in earning money, check your local listings for jobs at businesses in the area, or apply for counselor jobs at summer camps.
For the more academically minded, there are plenty of summer programs to apply to, or head to a community college and sign up for a class (or two). Summer is also a good time to do some serious reading, if that’s your thing. You might think you need to work with a professor on an intensive research project for colleges to take notice (which is a perfectly viable option if you have the opportunity), but as long as you’re actively pursuing your interests, colleges will recognize that.
Finally, don’t think you need to pack productive experiences into every moment of your summer. It’s important to take some time to recharge, take care of yourself, and relax so that when the school year comes around, you’ll be refreshed and ready to go!