5 Ways to Spend Your Summer

5 Ways to Spend Your Summer

Planning your summer is important because it helps you set goals, create structure, explore new opportunities, avoid boredom and burnout, and prepare for the future.

Without a plan, it can be easy to waste time or get stuck in a routine that doesn’t align with your priorities. By planning your summer, you can make the most of your time off and pursue your goals and interests.

Instead of spending your days lounging around, why not use this time wisely?

Here are some ideas for how you can make the most of your high school summer:

1. Learning and Skill Development

  • Take an online or in-person course or workshop: There are many online courses and workshops available on a wide range of topics, from coding and graphic design to creative writing and music production.
  • Learn a new language. Consider enrolling in a language course or using online resources to learn a new language over the summer.
  • Read widely and deeply. Reading can help improve your vocabulary, critical thinking, and overall knowledge. Consider making a reading list for the summer and challenging yourself to read widely and deeply on a variety of topics.
  • Develop a hobby or creative pursuit: Pursuing a hobby or creative pursuit, such as painting, photography, or music, can help you develop new skills and talents.
  • Take on a personal project: Taking on a personal project, such as building a website or designing an app, can be a great way to learn new skills and gain experience. You can use online resources to learn the necessary skills and then apply them to your project.

2. Personal Growth and Creativity

  • Keep a journal: Keeping a journal can be a valuable tool for personal growth and self-reflection. You can use your journal to reflect on your experiences, set goals, and explore your thoughts and emotions.
  • Experiment with different forms of creative expression: Experimenting with different forms of creative expression, such as writing, painting, or music, can be a great way to express yourself and develop your creativity. You can try new things on your own, or take classes or workshops to learn new techniques.
  • Read for pleasure.
  • Travel and explore new places: Traveling and exploring new places can be a great way to broaden your horizons, learn about different cultures, and gain new perspectives. You can plan a trip with friends or family, or even travel on your own.

3. Academic and Professional Development

  • Intern in a field you’re interested in.
  • Get a summer job — you can make the most even out of the most humble, basic local gig. Oftentimes, these are the jobs that stand out on an application. It brings readers back to the ol’ days where we worked summer nights at Dairy Queen.
  • Attend a summer program at a college or university. Not sure how to find the right one, check out College Matchpoint, a super neat summer program search tool. 
  • Prepare for standardized tests.
  • Start a business or social enterprise.
  • Create a portfolio or resume.
  • Network with professionals in your field of interest. You can attend career fairs, join professional organizations, or use LinkedIn to connect with people in your industry.

4. Community Service

  • Volunteer at a retirement home.
  • Participate in a community cleanup.
  • Join a charity walk or run.
  • Tutor or mentor younger students.
  • Help out at a local animal shelter.

5. Physical and Mental Wellness

  • Exercise and stay active.
  • Practice meditation and mindfulness.
  • Join a sports team or fitness group.
  • Try new outdoor activities.
  • Learn a new physical skill: Learning a new physical skill, such as dancing, martial arts, or rock climbing, can help you build strength, flexibility, and coordination while also improving mental well-being.

High school summers are opportunities to gain new perspectives, build confidence, and develop a sense of purpose and direction for the new school year.

By organizing your summer into themes, you can better assess which category of activity aligns best with your goals and aspirations.

If you’d like support in planning your summer and/or applying to summer programs (yep, those programs require essays too!), schedule a free consult with me here.

Kate Stone

Kate Stone

Founder, Head Coach
NYU Graduate, Princeton Fellow

Kate is a highly regarded college application coach, renowned for her ability to transform students' essays into compelling narratives that reflect their unique identities. She excels at fostering a motivating and encouraging environment where students gain confidence and overcome challenges like writing anxiety.

Her personalized approach tailors each session to the student's specific needs, whether it's structuring the essay writing process, brainstorming ideas, or providing guidance. Parents have praised her for helping their children improve their abilities and self-assurance, making her not just a coach but a trusted mentor and friend throughout the college application journey.