Students all across the country seek admission into college each year.
What can you do to help to ensure that you get a seat at your top choice?
While summer may seem like the time to be lounging poolside, hanging with friends, and maybe, just maybe doing some SAT prep work or summer reading, if you want to improve your chances of acceptance into college, then your summer needs to be about more than just fun and games.
That’s not to say you cannot enjoy yourself; some of the suggestions for how to build up your college potential can indeed be both fun and worthwhile at the same time!
Find a Job
Not to sound like your parents, but a great thing to do in the summer is… GET A JOB!
Show off your dedication, your work ethic and your ability to get up early during those lazy summer days. If at all possible, try to find a job in a field you may want to pursue in college. However, if that is not an option, then any position that showcases both your own personal responsibility as well as the skills you learn from the job will be a real resume boost.
Some common jobs for high school students include babysitting, working at a summer camp, working retail or at a summer tourist destination, or lawn care. Some of these jobs will allow you to have fun in the sun while you get a chance to earn money and give you real-life experience to incorporate into college resumes and application essays.
Take the idea of working in the summer one step further and become your own boss! Now, we are not suggesting that you reopen your childhood lemonade stand, but working for yourself is an option for teens. Some ideas include applying for online writing jobs, selling your services as a house cleaner, or opening up a legitimate business selling a product and employing your friends!
Work on Your Online Presence
Are you attached to your phone or iPad in the summer? Then put it to some good use and create a real online presence for yourself.
That does not mean you should spend your summer posting selfies of you and your friends at the boardwalk or local hangout. Log onto LinkedIn and start a profile. Post a weekly blog with your thoughts on a timely subject; think politics, entertainment, or science. Write a personal letter of introduction to every college admissions officer at the schools to which you are even considering applying. Start advertising yourself early and often; let these college representatives get to you know long before your application crosses their desks.
While you are on social media all summer; spend some time reviewing your accounts and delete any and all posts and photos that would not create a good impression. College admissions officers are very likely to check your online profiles to see if you would be a good fit for their program. Try to put your best foot forward.
Donate Your Time to a Cause
Your teenage years are an excellent time to explore your passions and interests. Find volunteer opportunities near you that allow you to learn more about a subject you are interested in. Many students find it fulfilling to volunteer to be a dog-walker at the local animal shelter, or stop by a children's ward in a hospital to brighten up someone's day. Other opportunities include community theater or music productions, park or roadside cleanup, shelving books at the library, local activism and much more!
Didn't get enough learning in during the school year? Explore your interests by taking a summer class! Bonus if you can earn college credit during your endeavor that will give you a jump-start on your education when you enroll freshman year.
College admissions officers like to see applicants who have passions and interests and are brave enough to pursue them. Any activity you can do that demonstrates your drive, initiative and leadership skills will benefit you when it comes time to apply to colleges.
Summer is not just a time to lay around and soak up some sun. Being proactive during the summer months is one of the best ways to secure your educational future. Set a summer goal for yourself and work hard to achieve it. You won’t be sorry!
Start building a college list that works for you!