5 ways to gain experience this summer for college bound students

5 ways to gain experience this summer for college bound students | JLV College Counseling Blog

It’s summer time and I know that you want to relax and have fun in the sun. However, it’s important to not sit idly by while other college bound students are out doing things that will help them stand out in the admissions process. Summer is the perfect time to build up your activities resume. Here are some ideas for your summer activities:

Get a summer job or internship. Getting a job is a great way to gain experience and build your networking skills. It’s also a great way to earn some money that you can put away for college.

  • If you know what you think you want to do in the future, try getting a job in that field. So many times, students choose an academic path not because they have a passion for the subject, but because of the pressure they feel to choose something. Why not check in with people doing work in that field and see if you can work or intern with them during the summer? It will give you an inside view of the career you think you want to work towards and will either reinforce your major choice, or make you realize you want to do something else.
  • If you can’t find something in your field, it’s okay to go for something in retail or food service. You’ll still gain valuable skills and experience.  Plus you’ll make some money while you’re at it. I’m still so thankful for my first job at Dairy Queen. I learned so much about customer service, leadership and working with people with different personality types.

Travel. If you’re able to, travel to new areas of the country or the world. Traveling is a great way to meet new people and learn about new areas and cultures. While traveling, visit colleges you may be interested in attending. Take the official campus tour and ask questions while you’re on campus. Visiting a college campus is a great way to figure out if the college is a good fit for you or not.

Volunteer. Do something good for the community. Choose a volunteer activity that is important to you, rather than just picking a volunteer opportunity out of convenience. Many colleges will ask about your community service activities and it impresses Admissions Officers when they see a passion for the work students do. Don’t fake it – Admissions Officers can usually see through it.

Take a summer class. Get a head start and take a college course at your local community college. Not only will you get a feel for what college course expectations are, you’ll get college credit that you can take with you to the college you will attend in the future. Check in with the Transfer Center at the community college to discuss the class you are interested in taking to ensure it will transfer to the colleges you are considering.

Read. Reading is good for you in so many ways. You will continue to grow your vocabulary (great for the SAT) and knowledge. Reading will also help you when it comes to the college essays and interviews. There are many colleges that will ask you what you’ve read and you’ll be able to answer that question. Be diverse with your selection and choose to read nonfiction and fiction. Also, read about current events and issues in the academic fields you will be studying.

Stay ahead of the college admissions game and stay busy over the summer. Everything you do can help you in the college admissions process. Plus, these activities are great for character building, learning, and maturing.

Want to stay in the loop? Follow my blog to be notified when new articles are published. You can also follow me on Twitter, Facebook or Pinterest for information on college admissions.

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