Here’s What You Should Be Doing This Summer
We totally get it. You’ve got one more summer before your senior year of high school, and the last thing you want to be thinking about is more school. Now should be the time to goof off with friends, go on family vacations, lay out by the pool, take in a few movies, and yes, maybe squeeze in an all-night binge of Fortnite when the parental units aren’t looking. You can do all of this, but there also must be some balance. The summer before your senior year is one of your last opportunities to stand out in the college admissions process and get all your ducks in a row, so you’re ahead of the game when August rolls around.
We’re not trying to lecture you, but here are just a few productive activities you should add to your summer to-do list:
Narrow Down Your College List & Potential Major
The list of colleges and universities you can attend in the United States alone is overwhelming, so start by deciding how far away from home you want to be and what areas of study you want to focus on. For example, if you wanted to be a journalist and not be too far from home, UNT is a perfect option and is home to the Mayborn School of Journalism. If you want to go far, Emerson College in Massachusetts is ranked No. 1 on most polls. A quick Google search or in-person campus tour may reveal options you’ve never considered.
Search For Scholarships, Financial Aid
Not everyone can pay for college out of pocket, and if you’re a smarty pants in the classroom, you may be eligible for a handful of scholarships if you apply early and often. There are also opportunities with a local Chamber of Commerce or community organization like Rotary International where you can be offered scholarships.
Build Your College Resume
With this tip, think summer internships, volunteer work and community service, and summer classes for college credit. College admissions officials want to know anything and everything about you, and these are just a few ways to beef up to your college applications. It may not be high on your to-do list, but even getting a summer job will give you real-world experience.
College Essays Are Critical
The truth is, you won’t really know what the essay topic is on most applications until you officially apply. Now is your chance to start brainstorming ideas ahead of time and even think of defining moments in your life that have molded you into the person you are today or shaped your decision on what you want to do for a living. All of these could be great fodder for a potential essay. How you score on your essay is critical to not only earning a spot in many major universities but also stand out amid a sea of qualified applicants.
Prepare For Standardized Tests
Summer is a great chance to take practice SAT or ACT exams if you haven’t taken the real thing yet or weren’t too happy with your previous score and want to try again. This doesn’t mean you have to study all day, every day … but every little bit helps down the road.