Strong summer activities are essential for a strong college application. US admissions officers want to see students engaging in productive and constructive activities over the summer months, instead of just lounging by the pool.
In fact, your summer activities are a great way to make your application stand out.
Check out these six fun summer activities to boost your US college application and start planning now!
1. Go Back to Camp
Summer camp is just for kids!
Many former campers go back to work at summer camp as counselors in their teens. This can be a really fun way to spend your summer, make a little money and show off your leadership skills.
There are also fun camps for older students that allow you to develop special skills, from athletics to music.
2. Get a Job
A summer job shows that you are responsible and is useful if you want some extra spending money over the summer months — or as a means to start saving for college.
Summer jobs also strengthen your college application in another way: Your superiors may be willing to write college recommendation letters for you later. This is a great way to diversify your list of references and can be especially useful if you’re not an academic star who can rely fully on teacher references.
Volunteer work is another fantastic way to spend your summer. You will not only contribute to your local community, but also add something valuable to your list of extracurricular activities in preparation for college application time.
Like summer jobs, volunteer work can also be a great way to make contact with people who can write you reference letters in the future.
4. Start Prepping for Standardized Tests
Okay, we know this option definitely sounds unappealing! Who wants to spend those sunny summer months studying for the SAT, ACT or TOEFL?
Here’s the thing though: odds are that you’ll have to do some studying before taking these tests. Trying to study for standardized tests during the regular academic year, when you’ll be juggling homework and extracurricular activities for college, can be just a bit overwhelming.
So why not put in some study time over the summer and get it out of the way? Besides, you can always bring your study flash cards with you to the pool!
5. Take a Class.
Again, at first glance this might be one of those activities for college that sounds completely uninteresting. You just spent all year in class, so why would you take a class over the summer? But this is your chance to take a class on something that interests you.
Whether you’ve always wanted to give photography a try, or you’re dying to learn how to code, summer is your chance to take a class on whatever you’re passionate about.
Plus, depending on the class you take, you may be able to earn some college credits – saving you money down the line – or, at the very least, put those credits towards your high school diploma, potentially giving you a free period during the school year.
6. Go Abroad
Want to really put something different on your college applications? Why not spend some time during your summer vacation studying abroad?
From language immersion programs to adventure abroad programs, there are numerous different ways high school students can spend their summer abroad. Not only will this give you a once in a lifetime experience, you’ll gain a sense of confidence and independence (helping prepare you for college), make new friends, and develop a new appreciation for the world community.
Not to mention, you may discover the perfect topic for you college admission essay.
Have Fun with Summer Activities for College!
Summer activities for college are an essential part of college prep. US colleges will appreciate that you took the initiative to go out and learn on your own, without someone forcing you to do it.
Best of all, while you’re having fun, your summer activities will show colleges that you are mature and motivated enough to pursue your own interests.
So what are you waiting for? Starting signing up and applying for some summer activities today!