July 20, 2019
Reading Time: 5 minutes –
The summers before you begin applying to college are crucial not only to your application but also to your personal development, and are a great way to explore your passions without the structure of school getting in the way. Really, summers can be a great opportunity to transform yourself into a well-rounded individual, while challenging yourself to discover what you eventually want to study in college, and practice in the future!
There are a million different ways to go about this self-exploration. But here are Write Track’s TOP 5 picks (+ a Bonus) that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, so to say. Our top summer activities will help you uncover your core, and stand out when it comes time to apply for college:
This not only accelerates you academically, but it helps you differentiate yourself as someone who is prepared for college-level courses. Taking courses that diverge from your high school general academics can also help you discover an area of study that you are interested in. ~ Enrollment: Easy | Cost: Low-Medium | Time: 1-2 months
Working in a lab is one of the most tried and true methods of: (a) standing out, and (b) solidifying your passion for a particular field of science. This is a great way to set yourself apart from your peers while gaining hands-on experience in a scientific area that can not only make your college years studying that science easier. It can also give you a solid base to obtain other internships in more prestigious labs later on. ~ Enrollment: Hard | Cost: Low | Time: 1-2 months
This one seems like a no-brainer, but so many people take the mentality of “I can work when I’m older.” Having a job before college not only demonstrates your work ethic and determination, it also gives you something to put on your resume. Plus – a little spending money never hurt anyone! Similarly, regular volunteer work shows your dedication to bettering the community around you, which is something all colleges and universities love to see on an application. ~ Enrollment: Easy-Medium | Cost: None | Time: 4-6 weeks
If you aren’t ready to make the leap into adulthood by getting a job or taking college courses, a perfect way to enjoy your summer and travel around while also being proactive about your college search and application process is to actually visit the colleges and universities you are interested in. Time and time again you will hear stories of students who visited a college they thought they loved, and ended up hating it, or visited a college they were indifferent towards and ended up falling in love with the atmosphere on campus. ~ Enrollment: None | Cost: Medium | Time: 1-2 weeks
Not only does this look great on a resume or college application, but it can also fast-track you in college by potentially allowing you to bypass language course requirements. Proficiency in another language is also crucial to studying abroad, so if you are even remotely interested in that, brushing up on your skills over the summer is a great place to start preparing for that leg of your journey. ~ Enrollment: Easy-Medium | Cost: Medium | Time: 1-2 months
BONUS: There are a bunch of different summer camp style/pre-college programs that can be found in the U.S. or internationally. They range from engineering immersions to art & design. While these have the potential to be pricey, they are a great way of exploring your passions and growing your network! Here is a comprehensive list: 2019 Summer Programs. ~ Enrollment: Easy-Medium | Cost: Medium-High | Time: 2 weeks – 2 months
Summer activities are a gauge for your creativity, independence, and ambition. To decide what is right for you, take some time to yourself. If there is nothing out there that seems like a fit for you, think about designing your own research project, starting your own business venture, or organizing your own service project. Creating your own summer activity is the best way to prove your independence and ingenuity while also showing you are capable, innovative and creative: ideal qualities that all top colleges are looking for!
Aly Hartman | Write Track Communication Officer (Write Track Admissions)