Any high school student looking to be competitive in college applications knows that they have to spend their summers doing something meaningful. As college admissions become increasingly rigorous, it is not enough to just have perfect grades and be involved in school extracurriculars. While summer is indeed a time to get a well-deserved break from school, it is also an opportunity to further your interest and experience in your chosen field, demonstrating to colleges that you are ready to dive into that subject at a higher level.
In this article series, we will break down the summer opportunities that students have in each grade and how to best convey them in your college applications. Make sure to stay tuned as we release articles for each grade.
After Freshman Year
Many students and parents make the mistake of thinking that it’s still too early for students to think critically about how to use this summer. It may seem like all your classmates are hanging out at pools, but the truth is that the most successful students start their preparations this summer. Because freshmen generally have a harder time finding formal internships or jobs due to their age, we recommend using this summer to find your passion.
At 7EDU, we are big believers in helping each student find their niche, because college admissions trends show that students with a deep and focused interest are able to craft the most compelling stories for college applications. We actually begin to develop students’ interests from as young as elementary school to give students as much time as possible to become an expert in the topic! But no worries if you’re feeling behind, you can use this summer to catch up. During the summer after freshman year, we recommend that students start to narrow down on their interests and complete a personal project that furthers their experience in this interest. For example:
If you really enjoyed art class in freshman year, look up national art competitions and spend the summer adding to your portfolio. Or, combine your talents with community impact by completing art projects for your neighborhood or creating graphics for activism.
Think you might be into programming? Spend the summer completing advanced coding challenges, readily available through the Internet. Or you can go the creative route by solving a problem you’ve identified in your life through coding.
Passionate about business? Start your own! It could be as simple as selling your clothes through an Instagram account or starting an Etsy shop. For finance or economics-oriented students, try investing a little bit of money!
If you’re thinking pre-med, now could be the perfect time to start building on your community service hours that colleges will be looking for. Find a nonprofit, community group, or cause that you’re interested in and contribute your time.
Generally speaking, any field of interest generally has competitions, enrichment classes, or free online resources available to help you dive deeper into a field. But we tend to see the greatest success from students who think outside of the box by using their talents to create their own project, impact the community, or solve a real-world problem. 7EDU works with students to find these unique summer opportunities and motivates you to actually complete them. Don’t be nervous about what to do this summer - contact us at (408) 216-9109 and schedule a free 30 minute consultation today.