Summer Vacation and College Readiness

It’s late May, and most students are looking forward with pleasant anticipation to summer vacation. Summertime is a point when high school students traditionally recharge and regroup; however, it is definitely possible to recharge and also engage in activities that will help with boosting college readiness.

The following are my top eight suggestions for the most productive ways to spend summer vacation with an eye to enhancing your college profile:

1 – Seek out a summer job. Work experience counts as something that demonstrates commitment and maturity to college admissions officials, and it is increasingly rare.

2 – Engage in some volunteer work, especially something that you might maintain beyond the summer months. As with work, this also demonstrates commitment, maturity, and also discipline.

3 – Seek out interesting, growth-enhancing experiences that will expand your perspective on life. This may involve travel, a service learning project, or a challenge that you set for yourself and meet (for example, hiking all the Colorado 14ers).

4 – Continue to stimulate your mind by engaging in intellectually engaging activities. If you have a weak academic area, this is the perfect time to review or work with a tutor, and a chance to start the school year ahead of the game in the fall.

5 – Related to the previous suggestion, if you struggled in a high school course and didn’t perform as well as you would like, and there is an opportunity to repeat the class in summer school, consider doing so. This demonstrates your seriousness as a student and may well improve your GPA.

6 – Launch or continue activities that are involved with applying to college. Tour schools of interest, contact colleges and request informational materials, review sample ACT and SAT tests to assess which is your better exam and so forth.

7 – Set out to learn a life skill that you haven’t yet mastered, whether it’s cooking, basic car maintenance, home repairs, etc. This will stand you in good stead later in life, and you never know when it might come in handy, even in your freshman dorm!

8 – Read, read, read, read. Read anything that’s interesting to you, and push yourself to expand your horizons here as well by delving into topics you know little about and genres that are less familiar to you. A key college success skill is reading comprehension. Readers have an edge on developing into good writers as well.

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