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how Did You Spend Your Summer Vacation?

It's a question that appears on many college applications. Summer offers students an abundance of free time. How you decide to use that time can enhance your college application.

Summer can be a time to:

  • Explore a passion

  • Explore a totally new discipline

  • Grow socially and emotionally

  • Get work experience and help with expenses at home or for college

Colleges will want to hear if a summer program or activity ignited your personal growth. There are a variety of summer activities that can fit that bill:

  • Academic Program on a College Campus

Programs that address a particular area of study while giving students a chance to experience college life can be life changing.

  • Volunteering

The effort to make a meaningful contribution to your community is something colleges look for.

  • Jobs and Internships

Showing up, working well with others, people skills – all are essential to successful adulthood.

Exposure to a specific career can pave the way for future employment.

  • Summer classes at a local or community college

Identifying a passion and choosing to learn more about it at a college level shows commitment and a willingness to work hard.

Leadership skills, the arts, and athletics can also be explored over the summer.

A special word on college campus programs

For all of their positives, these programs are often expensive. However, some offer financial aid and some are free or low cost. What’s required of students is research to identify programs that make sense financially and provide environments where they can thrive.

And what about Covid?

An additional challenge for students today is to find a program that is actually going to take place. And then to examine whether or not, if a program is only being offered virtually, it will provide the impact you want.

To identify an opportunity that works for you:

  • Google as specifically as you can summer programs in topics you care about

  • Go on web sites of schools you’re interested in and search for summer programs

  • Ask anyone and everyone you know

  • Answer ads for employment or internships

  • Ask school counselors if they have received information on job or internship opportunities

Applications to summer programs are open and the time to apply is now. Here are a few links to get you started:


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