Summer is a special time for high school students, offering a welcome break from their regular routine. Teens have the opportunity to create their own schedules and fill their days with activities that interest them.
While some of these activities may include application-worthy experiences like working a job or internship, taking a pre-college program, or volunteering with a local organization, it’s important to remember that summer is also a time for recreation.
That’s right. Teens, like everyone else, deserve to pursue enjoyment for its own sake, and summer is the perfect time to do that. Even better, fun activities like reading books, listening to podcasts, and—yes—even watching TV shows have many positive benefits.
Fun and Engaging Ways for Students to Unwind during the Summer
1. Reading Books
Summer reading lists targeted to teens often include the usual suspects—classics that you’d expect to come across in an AP English class. But teens don’t have to read Crime and Punishment or The Odyssey to reap the benefits of reading. (Although they certainly can if they want to!)
Any book that gets them engaged is worth picking up—including graphic novels.
Signet recommends: Heartstopper Volumes One – Four by Alice Oseman
We’ve got LGBTQ+ books on our minds this Pride Month! This beautiful graphic novel series by Alice Oseman, winner of the YA Book Prize, follows a coming-of-age love story between two high school boys, Charlie and Nick.
2. Listening to Podcasts
There are so many different genres of podcasts to choose from, and each one has a unique and beneficial effect on the human brain.
For instance, listening to meditation podcasts has been shown to release oxytocin, a chemical that can reduce stress and anxiety. Comedy podcasts help lower cortisol levels—also ideal for stress reduction. Some podcasts are incredibly informative and educational, without feeling like a history or mathematics lesson.
No matter which podcast a teen decides to listen to, they’re bound to gain something good from it.
Signet recommends: Dear Hank & John
Authors and YouTubers John and Hank Green explore life’s big and small listener-submitted questions and give what they call “dubious advice.” Topics range from climate change to black holes to heated debates about the best pets.
Bonus: Listening to this podcast could open teens up to discovering the Green brothers’ YouTube channel, CrashCourse, which is full of high-quality educational videos on a variety of subjects.
3. Watching TV Shows
Who doesn’t love escaping into a binge-worthy TV show on occasion? The world is a heavy place right now, with American children in the middle of what some experts are calling a mental health crisis.
While we encourage all teens who are struggling to seek the help and support they need, sometimes a great TV show can be a welcoming distraction from the pressures of the outside world.
Signet recommends: Stranger Things
The fourth season of Stranger Things came out just a couple of weeks ago, taking viewers back to 1980s Indiana, where several beloved teens face dark and mysterious forces.
Bonus: Parents may enjoy watching the series with their teens—if only for the 80s nostalgia and Kate Bush tunes.
At Signet, we care about the whole student, not just their academic performance, and we’re always interested in finding ways to better connect with teens. We can’t wait to talk to our students about the books, podcasts, and TV shows they enjoyed this summer!
Contact us to learn more about our approach to tutoring, academic coaching, admissions consulting, and more.