Making Summer Meaningful
“Summer afternoon-summer afternoon; to me those have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language.” ~Henry James
The spring semester’s days are numbered, for many students, in the single digits. You’ve weathered the winter storms, AP exams, and final exam week and are almost in the free and clear. What awaits you these next few months before it all starts again in August? I have three suggestions.
Get a job
The summer is not merely a time to unwind and relax; it’s also a time to start working toward your long-term goals, most specifically, college. The summer is a perfect time to search out that job/internship that ignites your passions and will provide experiences to share in your college essays. You might also learn more about yourself. For example, after spending a summer sterilizing lab equipment, you might realize that the premed track isn’t for you. Conversely, you might find that an internship with the state senate revealed a surprising interest in political science. Go into a job/internship with the goal of learning more about yourself, and you’ll have a successful summer whatever you end up doing!
Prep for college
If you’re a sophomore, the summer is a great time to get started with test prep. Preparing for the SAT and ACT should end by your junior spring, and the summer before your junior year is ideal for taking a practice test, determining your baseline, and setting score goals for yourself.
If you’re a junior (rising Senior), college visits should definitely be on the list for this summer. Ideally, you have received the scores you need and have compiled a college list, so the summer is the perfect time to check those colleges out firsthand. All colleges look flawless in their brochures, but a campus visit can provide a more realistic perspective.
Finally, there’s still time to register for the June 7 SAT subject tests. If you’ve prepped well for your AP tests, it might be worthwhile to sign up for 1 to 3 SAT subject tests, if your colleges factor those scores into your application. Late registration for those tests ends May 28th.
After all that you’ll be packing into your schedule this summer, you deserve a break! I’m not talking about spending the entire summer rocking the couch and sleeping in til 2pm. I am talking about spending much of your summer doing things that you find restful, that relieve the stress of this past year. Do you enjoy reading? Visit the library and check out some books that you’ve wanted to read all year, but haven’t had the time. Like to work out? Start a morning routine of hitting up the gym, or the running trail, before getting on with your day. The summer is a time to indulge, but make sure that your indulgences form positive habits, not negative ones.
The next several months hold seemingly infinite possibilities. Make sure that you leave time for work opportunities, college responsibilities, and meaningful rest.