Plan for summer now? You bet!
Although it may seem a tad early, actually January is the time for two very important activities .
Right now, I am working with juniors on their college list. I find it’s most effective to work backwards when we begin the college process in 11th grade.
What schools might you want to get into? And what would you need to get in?
Of course, you can do this as early as freshman year, if you have an idea where you might want to go.
But 11th graders really need to give this very important question some careful consideration. Choosing the right schools, not just the most prestigious, but the best fit for you, is the first step in the application process.
For a very in-depth look at the factors involved in choosing schools, you can read my post How to Choose a College.
For both 10th and 11th graders, it is the ideal time to figure out what you want to do in the summer.
The Time to Prepare for Summer is Now
Just as the trees look dormant, as though nothing is happening to them, so too with the winter application season. But don’t be deceived! Now is the time to be looking into programs for the summer. In fact, some of these deadlines have already passed! I recently helped students with applications to Stanford Summer Institute and to a very exciting program at RPI.
Although nothing is certain in these uncertain COVID times, everyone is hoping that by summer, we will be able to begin business-as-usual.
From what I can see, that is what summer programs are counting on, and the applications are already out.
Opportunities are Abundant
I always think of summers as divided in two. Even if the two sides are uneven, it’s a good way to think about how to divide your time. Two weeks in Mexico with your family (hopefully!) Four weeks studying astrophysics at NASA.
And realistically, there are at least six opportunities for fun, enrichment, service, travel, study, immersion, exploration, initiative in the summers between freshman and sophomore year, sophomore and junior year and then between junior and senior year.
Summer is a time when you can do what you don’t have time for during the year.
It’s a time to spread out, loaf and invite your soul, and also a time to squeeze in an important activity that is exciting to you and would show demonstrated interest in a potential field of study.
You can always do research on your own. Google “pre-college programs” in Creative Writing, Chemistry, Materials Science, BioTech and you will get a wealth of information. Look at the location. See what the program has to offer. Does it match your goals and interests? How long is it? Where is it? What activities or courses of study does it offer? Is it “for credit” or not? Is it at a school to which you might want to apply?
Here is a list that shows the variety of programs available — everything from Peace Corps and Habitat for Humanity for Teens to Study Abroad and Pre-College Programs. These are just a few sample ideas. There are literally hundreds of programs that are enriching, exciting, and educational for teens. I am not endorsing any of these programs, per se. I just want to give you an idea of just how much is out there. And again, if it should come to that, most of these programs are equipped to go online.
This past summer, students I worked with interned at The New York Times, “went” to Bard for a class on art history, took a class on Ethics in Medicine at Stanford.
Take a look at this list and see if there’s anything of interest to you.
Or choose a college and see what they offer.
The world is your oyster! You just have to be ready to explore it!
Summer Discovery: A program connected to many prestigious colleges and universities such as:
Summer Discovery offers a wide variety of summer programs for high school students to fit your specific interests and summer goals. We offer over 300 different courses, including: Business, Medicine, Law, Entrepreneurship, Psychology, Theater, Art, Sports Broadcasting, STEM, Political Science, and many more!
Rather than simply rent space from universities like many programs do, Summer Discovery actually partners with them so you can be an active part of their individual communities. You’ll be able to get an accurate picture of student life across 14 campuses:
- UC Santa Barbara
- University of Colorado, Boulder
- University of Texas at Austin
- University of Michigan
- University of Miami
- Georgetown University
- Johns Hopkins University
- University of Pennsylvania
- Pace University NYC
- Emerson College, Boston
- Cambridge University, England
- City University, London
- YALE-NUS College Singapore
JCamp – For Journalism students
Summer Programs Have Applications. Applications Have Essays. Essays Have Deadlines.
Essays are the Golden Key.
For information on writing those all-important essays, feel free to contact me to see how I can help.
The next step, of course, is to take a look at the application.
Often recommendations are needed. And almost always you must write application essays. That’s one of my specialties! In fact, I have very near 100% acceptance into summer programs.
This is an exciting journey in and of itself.
And that’s only one of the many ways in which you can spend the dog days of summer. You can also create an app, go to all the museums in your city, start a dog walking business and begin to explore your interests more deeply and more fully without the burden of homework and tests.
Summer is a wonderland. Start taking steps now to make it great!