With the school year coming in for a landing, many students are asking themselves, “What should I do this summer?” We are here to help you figure that out!
Summers are a great chance for students to volunteer for their community, pursue an extracurricular activity, work a summer job, or learn a new skill. Colleges nowadays expect that applicants will be active and engaged during the summer. Admissions officers look for students who are self-motivated learners; who, when given space and time, create meaningful experiences for themselves. Summer is a great time to show that you are this kind of person.
But with summer just around the bend, how can you possibly create a plan? It’s true that deadlines for many applications for summer programs have already passed, and jobs may already be filled. But don’t worry. You still have options.
Take an online course
Even though it may be too late for an in-person course on a college campus, you can still learn from the comfort of your (hopefully) air-conditioned home. Browse through the courses offered on edX and coursera. We love edX–the courses are free! (Though if you want a certificate for the course you may have to pay a small fee.) Even some of the most popular courses (like Harvard’s Computer Science CS90 course) are offered on an ongoing basis, and can be taken at your own own pace. Some courses, like Game Design at MIT, do have set start dates and pacing. See what’s available and what works in your schedule.
Colleges want students who care about being of service to the world. The best way to cultivate this quality? Do it! Reach out to a counselor at your school or research charitable organizations in your area. Do you have a passion for a specific cause? (LGBTQ rights, sustainability, racial justice, poverty?) Look for organizations in those specific areas.
If you’re self-motivated, do something on your own. Write a play or a collection of poems, make a series of short films, start a rooftop farm, build a robot…there are infinite possibilities, limited only by your creativity.
We promise you, it’s not too late to create a meaningful summer. Start with your interests, and go from there.