Creative Ideas for Summer Learning Experiences
For students preparing for the college application process, summer break is an exciting opportunity to pursue new ways to learn outside of the classroom. Whether you get a job, focus on test preparation, enroll in an academic program, or start an internship, there are plenty of ways to broaden your skill set when school is out of session.
If you haven’t lined up your plans for summer break yet, don’t panic. While the deadline for some programs may have passed, there are plenty of options for students who are eager to expand their horizons. Keep reading for some of our top activity recommendations!
In addition to earning some extra income, jobs can help students build valuable interpersonal skills. Pretty much any position can be a valuable learning experience if students approach it with an open mind and an eagerness to succeed. For example, working as a waiter can help students learn how to multi-task, problem solve, and remain professional throughout difficult situations. All of these competencies can serve as building blocks for future internships and careers and summer can be the perfect time to work on this foundation.
From starting a blog to launching an independent research project to registering for an MOOC, there are tons of learning options that students can pursue independently. Before beginning a project, it is important to have a clear understanding of your timeline and what you wish to get out of this experience. Create a work schedule to keep yourself accountable and ensure you get everything out of this experience. Pursuing an independent project can help students prepare for college-level coursework, which frequently requires greater autonomy and self-motivation.
The summer can also be a great time to ramp up your volunteering efforts. If you perform community service during the academic year, reach out to your supervisor to brainstorm new ways to get more involved. Students who are new to volunteering can start by researching organizations that relate to subjects and causes that interest them and see what types of positions are available for the summer. Choose an activity that interests you and relates to other hobbies and extracurricular activities that you are involved in.
Interning can be an excellent way to build your resume and learn new skills. Seek out opportunities that relate to academic or extracurricular activities that interest you. If this is your first time looking for an internship, consider reaching out to local businesses and organizations first to build experience. Send a resume and a letter outlining why you are interested in pursuing an internship, any relevant prior experience, and what you wish to get out of this experience. Do your research before sending this letter and write something that is tailored to a specific company or organization. Students looking for extra help with this process may wish to reach out to a teacher or guidance counselor.
Test Prep + Tutoring
It’s important to fight summer brain drain and stay sharp for the upcoming school year. Some students may benefit from prioritizing SAT/ACT preparation during the summer, when it’s possible to set aside time each day to study. Create a study calendar to stay on top of your goals and consider working with a tutor to help guide you through the process. Academic tutoring is another option for students who are looking to get ahead in a certain subject, particularly if they know the material has been challenging for them in the past.
Any summer activity can be an excellent choice, as long as it provides students with the opportunity to learn and grow. If you are currently brainstorming your summer plan and looking for extra guidance, our team of admissions counselors can help you create a plan of action.