Summer is a time for relaxation and fun in the sun. However, it is important to not sit idly by while other college bound students are out doing things that will help them stand out in the admission process. Summer is a great time to build up your resume and gain some experience.
Internship or Shadow
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 the field and see if you can work or intern with them during the summer. If not an internship, shadow them for a few weeks to learn the ins and outs of the profession. 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.
Getting a job is a great way to gain experience and build your networking skills. It is also a great way to earn some money you can put away for college. If you’re not able to find a job in the field you eventually want to enter, food service or retail can be great opportunities. I’m still very thankful for my first job at Dairy Queen. I learned so much about customer service, leadership, and working with people with different personalities.
If you are 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 might be interested in attending. Take the official campus tour and ask questions while you’re on campus.
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 will impress admission officers when they see a passion for the work students do. Don’t fake it – admission officers can usually see through it.
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 you may be able to 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.
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 admission game and stay busy over the summer. Everything you do can help in the college admission process. Plus, these activities are great for character building, learning, and maturing.