What are your plans for the summer? A common question everyone is inevitably confronted with this time of year. Are you vacationing, traveling, spending time with friends and family? What better way to spend the sunny days! Be cautious to not let the carefree, comfortable summer daze paralyze you in an idle state. High school summers matter– especially for soon-to-be college freshmen! If you’re college-bound, summer is a golden opportunity to focus on specific tasks and get hands-on experience in the real world without the stress of academics. Show future universities and employers that you are ambitious and act upon your natural interests. Have fun this summer while gaining an impressive, resume-building experience. Consider the following activities to productively fill your schedule this summer!
A majority of high school students participate in a part-time job either during the school year or during the summer. A part-time job is a perfect opportunity to get basic experience in a field that piques your interest, earn money, be a part of a team, and enhance your resume and college applications. For example, if you are interested in hospitality, consider taking up a waiter or hostess position. Don’t just clock in-and-out– stand out! Like any extracurricular activity, colleges want to see that you are active in your workplace and competently oversee your responsibilities. If you know your anticipated college major, get your feet wet and research jobs that can expose you to the industry!
Just the word “internship” is intimidating– especially if you’re a high school student! Don’t worry, you don’t have to be enrolled in a university to participate in an internship. Internships, by definition, are “positions by students or trainees for an organization, sometimes without pay, in order to gain work experience or satisfy requirements for a qualification.” Speaking from personal experience, internships are one of the best ways to become familiar with your intended field of study or career. When you delve into an internship you work beside professionals and practice hands-on learning. What could be a better way to further your education! Learning is an active process; you learn by doing. Entering college with an internship on your resume advocates for your passion and genuine interest in your desired field of study.
Volunteering is a fantastic way to get involved in your community and help others. There are multiple places that are always looking for volunteers, such as schools, hospitals, animal shelters, museums, retirement homes, food pantries, and many more! There are always opportunities to volunteer in your field(s) of interest, no matter what they are. As Martin Luther King Jr. said, “somewhere along the way, we must learn that there is nothing greater than to do something for others.” One of the biggest benefits of volunteering is the sole knowledge that you are helping others. In addition, you are gaining valuable material to include on your resume and college applications. Volunteering is similar to an internship and a part-time job in the sense that, in all three, you can relate your experience to your academic and career goals.
Your hobbies can include your personal interests or sports, clubs, extracurriculars in and outside of school. As you transition into the realm of higher education, it is critical to embrace every opportunity and challenge, exhibit your creativity, and take infinite strides to explore your passions. The beauty of having a hobby is that it’s yours and you can perform it at your leisure and comfort. Colleges and employers like applicants that have outside interests and are willing and able to commit to a certain activity. Exercising and exploring your hobby during the summer is important. During an interview, one of the top questions applicants struggle the most with answering is “what are your interests?” and “tell me about yourself.” They seem so simple – but how would you answer these questions? Take the time this summer to explore and expand on your passions; they may lead you to your career field. For example, if you enjoy baking, consider enrolling in a culinary course or working in a bakery. If you have extensive participation in an activity, you show colleges and employers that not only can you commit to something, but you are a well-rounded person.
Regardless of your grade level, it is critical for high school students to devote time to explore their passions while gaining valuable, real-world experience in their field of interest during extended academic recess. Fortunately, there are multiple options and ways in which you can, no matter your interests or circumstances! The first steps are identifying your genuine and intuitive interests, what you want to learn more about, and what your goals are, then research ways to get involved. Regardless of the activity, involvement is always impressive and is relative to your aspirations. So, what are you doing this summer?