We know. There is a lot going on this summer. Between catching all of the Bulbasaurs in your backyard, to gearing up for Gabby Douglas to bring home the gold in Rio, to playing JT’s CAN’T STOP THE FEELING! on repeat, we wanted to create the perfect summer set list to help you maximize these extra daylight hours to stay on top of your college plans. We asked our expert contributors on AdmitHub’s About Admissions Q&A Forum about how rising juniors and seniors can make the most of the summer... Hopefully these ideas get stuck in your head!
Work, work, work, work, work
Whether you can work from home or not, the experts weighed in and recommended summer jobs as excellent preparation for college and life:
- “Volunteer, work, work on a passion project… These are the experiences that will drive your choices through much of the rest of your life.” --Clare Norton, University Director of Admission, CUNY
- “Get a part-time job. You'll develop skills that will last a lifetime: interacting and developing friendships with people outside your normal friend group. Also, take time to unplug!” --Debra Shaver, Dean of Admission, Smith College
- “Work at McDonald's, in retail, at a grocery store or a hardware store. Choose a place that will force interaction with people from as many walks of life as possible.” --Heath Einstein, Director of Freshman Admission, Texas Christian University
- “Whatever you do this summer, try as hard as you can to not waste time... What is it that gets you really excited? Do it and do it well! Put away the 'pathways to inaction!' Unless you're writing the code for new ones, take the summer off from video games!" --William C. McMurray, President, Lead Educational Consultant, College Search U
Because we know that you don’t necessarily need dollar bills to have fun tonight. When the experts tell you to relax and enjoy the summer, you better do it! We will certainly be taking that advice!
- “Go outside! Breathe fresh mountain or ocean air. Whatever you do, just breathe. It is all going to be okay. You choose what you pay attention to, so make it good!” --Brennan Barnard, Director of College Counseling, The Derryfield School, NH
- “Do something that questions your assumptions and might surprise you. Attend a political rally, join a march, go to a museum, attend a talk, have a long conversation with an elderly relative or perform a random act of kindness.” --Matt DeGreeff, Director of College Counseling, Middlesex School
- “Go for a drive without any directions. See where you end up and you may just find essay writing inspiration. If nothing else, it'll provide quiet time to think.” --Bartley W. Sides, Associate Director of College Counseling, Christ Church Episcopal School
- “Make a list of everything you've been told will look great to colleges. Then do something else! Reading for unadulterated pleasure would be priority number one. I spent the summer between my two grad school years reading all of the books I had been assigned in high school that I either blew off or merited re-reading. It was one of the best summers of my life." --Heath Einstein
Don't let me down, don't let me down, down, down
While you should certainly take some time for yourself this summer, tackling some college-related tasks can save you time this fall!
- “College-bound high school students -- particularly those who believe their ACT/SAT results do not accurately reflect their academic talents -- should use a few hours this summer to take a close look at the free list of accredited, bachelor-degree granting institutions with test-optional and test-flexible admissions policies. These 860-plus schools will evaluate all or many applicants without regard to their standardized exam scores.” --Bob Schaeffer, Public Education Director, FairTest: National Center for Fair & Open Testing
- “Keep a notebook handy or at least a page on your phone 'notes' section to jot down essay thoughts/ideas as they come to you. You never know when you might have a random thought or inspiration that could develop into an essay.” --Leigh Morgan, Director of College Counseling, The Tatnall School
Kill ‘em with kindness...
... your family, that is. (Thanks for the tip, Selena Gomez!) Take advantage of spending this time with those closest to you. Whether you will be going away to college or staying close to home, college can be a big transition, and you will not regret taking this time to connect with your family members.
- “Don't moan and groan when Mom and Dad want to take one last road trip with the whole family. For rising seniors, this is often "the last" family trip for everyone. Enjoy some family time and build as many memories of childhood as possible before you head into a very stressful time in your life.”
Also spend time talking about finances. College is expensive and parents should have a frank discussion about what they can and cannot afford. Hopefully this is a continuation of previous conversations but if not, start talking! --Kathi Moody, School Counselor, Lynnfield High School
- “Plan a day trip adventure just for you and your siblings.
Watch a movie you've never seen that everyone raves about. (It freaks me out how many kids have never seen 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' or 'The Breakfast Club,' let alone 'Casablanca.')Sleep in, have entire days with no schedule or agenda, do whatever comes up that sounds fun.” --Moira McKinnon, ASSCSI 2016 Chair, Director of College Counseling, Berwick Academy
Pokemon, gotta catch ‘em all…
Because... this just needs no explanation.
- “Enter Pokemon Go at your own risk! You may go outside but you may never execute any of these awesome ideas! ;-) " --Jody Sweeney, Associate Director of College Counseling, William Penn Charter School
If you are a high school student, and would like some guidenece through your college search feel free to message Oli on Facebook!