The college admissions market has never been more competitive, meaning students need something to set themselves apart from other applicants. While academics are definitely still important, colleges are also looking for well-rounded students with good extracurriculars. The summer break is the perfect time for this, where a little bit of effort can go a surprisingly long way. Here are nine summer activities to impress colleges that you could easily take up this summer.
Many colleges offer specialized summer programs for high school students that are taught by real professors. This can give you an early taste of college life and even strengthen your idea of where you may want to attend. While these are competitive to get into, they really show your commitment and dedication to furthering your education.
With a ton of lectures now streamed online, sites like EdX and Coursera offer you the chance to participate in real-time. There is a wide range of classes on offer, taught by some of the best professors in the country.
It’s no secret that getting a job is one of the best summer activities that impress colleges. Whether it’s for profit or just for fun, it shows you’re driven and that you can handle responsibility. You’ll also develop valuable interpersonal skills that colleges always look for.
Non-profit organizations are regularly looking for help and this could be a very rewarding way to spend your summer. Volunteering shows colleges that you value community, are a good team player, and enjoy helping others.
Internships are a great way to get some hands-on experience in a career you may want to pursue. Not only that, an internship can also give you some useful business contacts that can help you find a job once you graduate.
If you can’t get your hands on a traditional job, create your own! Offering a local service like lawn mowing, babysitting, or dog walking could be very lucrative. It also shows admissions officers that you’re resilient, resourceful, and a good problem solver.
Let’s not forget that academics are still a very important part of the equation! Start practicing for your PSATs, take an online prep course, or even find a tutor. This helps your mind stay sharp over the summer and puts you in a better position than your peers.
Why not try something a little bit different? A teen summer travel program can really help you break out of your comfort zone and become more well-rounded. You can pick up valuable foreign languages, experience a new culture, and gain a deeper insight into yourself and what you want to study.
One of the summer activities that impresses colleges the most is making physical visits. Colleges want students who are genuinely interested in attending and visiting is one of the best ways to convey that. Especially if you can make some connections with the staff, you’ll have a huge leg up on the competition.
This summer, try to engage in at least one of the above activities to flesh out your resume and to show colleges that you are an applicant they cannot pass up!