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Summer Plans for Learning (and Keeping Parents Happy)


Monday, July 21, 2014

Summer Plans for Learning (and Keeping Parents Happy)

Ahhh summer. It's a special time, when different rules apply than the rest of the year. You have a say in what you want to do and the options are plentiful. You can get a job, travel, study, or do nothing at all. It's your choice, although we don't recommend the latter option. We encourage you to think of summer as the time to discover and explore your own interests.

Here is a list of suggestions to drive your intellectual curiosity this summer:

  1. READ: If we had to suggest one thing that would increase your grades and test scores, make you a better writer, a better student, and increase your knowledge of the world, it would be to read as many good books as possible. Go where your heart desires. Read newspapers and magazines, even check out a trashy novel or two.

  2. VOLUNTEER: It’s never too late to sign up. Most charities need your help and are more than willing to work around your schedule. Call the Ronald McDonald House or Coalition for the Homeless, whatever meets your interest. Volunteer work is rewarding—and it looks great on college applications.

  3. WORK/INTERN: Summer jobs and internships are great opportunities to learn skills and meet new people. Although some of the best are probably gone by now, there’s still time to find work. Call local publishers, radio stations and offer to work for free. If you need the cash, baby sit, tutor kids, flip burgers—there’s always something you can do to expand your horizons.

  4. PREPARE FOR THE SAT/ACT (if you will be a Junior or Senior):  These tests cause anxiety and measure how well you take the SAT or ACT. Unfortunately, it’s an incredibly important test and your ability to take it could have a significant impact on your life. The summer affords you plenty of time to prep.

  5. KEEP A JOURNAL:  Along with how well you read, the ability to write well is one of the most important skills you can develop. Keeping a journal is a pressure-free way to express yourself in writing.

  6. HANG WITH MOTHER NATURE: No matter where you live in the US, it’s a short trip to some form of wilderness and/or the beach. This summer might be the perfect time to start hiking or visit the serenity of the ocean. 

  7. DO AT LEAST ONE THING THAT YOU’VE NEVER DONE BEFORE:  Experiment. Do something great. Act in a play, spend time with senior citizens, skydive, learn karate. The beauty of it is you’re making your own agenda. Nobody’s telling you what to do, so go crazy.

    1. LEARN SOMETHING:  Just because school’s out, there is no reason to shut off your mind. Instead of learning the concrete curriculum, teach yourself something totally off the roster. Learn about cooking, modern art or whatever interests you. Take control of your education and learn things that you’re interested in at your own pace. Learn for learning sake.