Summer Vacation for the College Applicant

With the last day of school right around the corner for many students, it’s a good time to think about what you’ll be doing with the newfound abundance of free time you’ll have over the next few months. 

While of course college admissions officers are interested in your GPA, your standardized test scores, and your extracurricular activities, they are also interested in how you spend your summers.  After a year of working hard in school and sports and activities, you’ve no doubt earned yourself some rest and relaxation, but be sure to balance out your leisure with some productive activities, as well!

Colleges see your summer activities as a way to gauge your out-of-school interests and your productivity.  Which do you think an admissions officer would rather see on your application- a summer spent playing video games and sleeping in, or participation in a 2-week summer program with a local college and regularly volunteering at an animal shelter? 

And of course, this is about much more than pleasing admissions officers.  YOU will benefit from having a productive summer, as well.   This is your chance to learn more about your anticipated major, earn some spending money, spend your time benefiting others and invest in your future. 

This can be a beneficial and enjoyable experience for you.  Think about your future career ambitions or your current creative outlets, how can you channel those things into something productive this summer?  Do you love taking photographs and editing them?  Start your own photography blog and offer to photograph a charity event free of charge as practice.  Perhaps you’d like to become a veterinarian- spend a few hours a week shadowing a local vet and helping out around his or her office.  Do you enjoy spending time outdoors?  Volunteer to mow your elderly neighbor’s lawn for the summer and care for their lawn and plants. 

Another great way to spend your time is to find a summer job.  If you’re interested in becoming a teacher, consider working as a summer camp counselor.  Interested in medicine?  Become a junior EMT – Junior EMTs complete a junior EMT program and volunteer in their local community. You could also seek out volunteer opportunities are your local hospital.  Do you have a family friend or family member who works in the field you hope to be in some day?  Offer to help in their office over the summer, paid or not.  This will give you a closer look at what their day-to-day looks like.  A summer job does not have to be related to your future career in order to be beneficial.  Holding down a job shows colleges that you are mature, dependable, and responsible.

We can’t wait to hear about all the ways you make your summer count! 

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