Hey it’s Elena! Summer is HERE (thank gosh ☀️) and for right now, you’re probably thinking, “I’ll be watching 'Heartstopper' and seeing my friends all summer, thank youuuu! :)” Which is totally fair, and after such a tough year, you definitely deserve a relaxing summer. But some of you may be thinking about getting a job or volunteering, or just are looking for something new! So here are 5 tips for making the most of your summer in HS:
As the older sibling who couldn’t drive yet, my sister and I had to get creative with our summers (which usually meant making pizza bagels in the microwave and watching Netflix). But after a week, we realized, “maybe we need to do something ELSE this summer lol." My advice to you? Don't worry so much about how these activities will look on a college application, and focus instead on what you ACTUALLY like to do. Colleges will see your passion come through, no matter what you do. So enjoy these tips and happy summer!
1. Work a summer job or internship 🍕
A summer job can be a great way to meet friends and make money at the same time! Check out local businesses near your hometown, like clothing stores & restaurants, or see if you can be a camp counselor or a lifeguard at your public pool. You can also look into tutoring— your guidance counselor/previous teachers might know of students who need help to get you started!
If there's a career that you want to learn more about (like law or engineering, for example), it's worth it to see if you could get an internship at a local law firm or construction company! Internships can be paid or unpaid so keep that in mind, too. Here are tips for finding one!
2. Find a volunteering opportunity 🌱
If you find you have time this summer, volunteering can be a great way to do something positive for your community and yourself. You can volunteer for a cause you’re already passionate about (the environment, fighting injustice, homelessness) or get involved in something to find a new passion.
Here are some resources you can use to find a place near you to volunteer:
Volunteering in General: DoSomething, Volunteer Match, Key Club
Medical: hospitals, nursing homes, doctor’s offices, Red Cross Youth
Educational: libraries, your school/school district, museums, Schools on Wheels
Those in need: homeless shelters, food pantries, Habitat for Humanity
Animals: animal shelters, veterinarian offices, Humane Society
Environment: nature centers/conservatories, Sierra Club
Special Needs: Best Buddies, Special Olympics
3. Find a camp or summer program 🏕️
A summer program can be super fun and give you time to spend with friends (or make new friends)! A lot of towns or nearby cities offer camps for high school students, focused on things like coding, outdoor adventures, and theater and art. This website has a whole search engine for summer programs across the US (and abroad too)!
4. Take a free online class or college course 💻
Is there anything you’ve been wanting to learn but haven’t had the time? You can take a free online class, through Coursera, edX, or even Youtube. Learn a new language, find out more about the solar system, or even learn how to play guitar! FOR FREE!
If you want to get a head start on college courses, you can always explore summer classes at a local college (or online at any college!) too. You can learn something new and maybe even get college credits!
PS– not all colleges will accept college credits earned in HS, so def check on that with the colleges you want to apply to if you’re taking the class TO earn credit!
5. Do a Creative Project 🎨
Whether you love art or recently picked up a new hobby that you really enjoy, dive into it this summer! Is there a nearby park that could use a new mural? Get your friends together and start a painting project! Or do you know how to make something you want to start selling? Why not start your own Etsy shop? No matter what you like to do, don’t be afraid to get creative this summer! :)
No matter what you choose to do, I hope you have so much fun this summer! Sending you the best vibes for an amazing time! :) —Elena