School’s out for summer. This classic rock anthem by Alice Cooper brings to mind papers flying, doors flung open and students leaving learning and rules behind. While Mr. Cooper put words to many who were escaping the “oppression” of the principal, he didn’t speak for those who were planning beyond 1972.
So how do you make the most of summertime and the break that comes from the daily grind of classes and homework? And more importantly, how do you use the days of summer to prepare for college (while also giving your mind and body a rest)?
Here are several ideas to make the most of your summer:
Sleep, eat well, exercise – Don’t be a slug; you’ll thank yourself later.
Read – Readers make better writers. Writers make better communicators. Being proficient at reading and writing makes college a bit easier due to the sheer volume expected in from each faculty member. It doesn’t have to be a classic novel. You can read thrillers, non-fiction sports autobiographies or even the history of Marvel comics. Mix these in with your assigned summer reading.
Volunteer – It can be challenging for heavily involved students whose time is consumed by practice, performances, etc. to find time to give back. Doing so is not only helpful to the organization, but also is a learning opportunity for you. Find an organization that needs your muscle, your tech-savvy, your organization skills and volunteer. If you love it, offer to come back next summer or continue during the school year on a limited basis. You will gain more than they will; trust me.
Work – There are valuable skills that can be learned from working and specifically dealing with the public; confidence, time management, public speaking, etc. Don’t discount work as “not what colleges want to see.” Someone has hired you to represent their company; use this opportunity to learn and earn $$.
Visit colleges – While the campus may not be in full swing, summer is a great time to take a peek at colleges. When planning a family vacation – schedule a college visit on the drive to and from vacay; or just pull off the interstate and wander around campus. Often, we have to try on a size or part of the country to know what we do or don’t want in a school. Not traveling far from home? Check out virtual visits. You can take a virtual test drive and determine whether you want to plan a visit.
Try something new – Always wanted to learn how to juggle, speak Italian, cook a full meal? Summer is your chance! Afraid of camping, public speaking, or roller coasters??? Challenge yourself to step outside your comfort zone and try something new.
Summer offers the time to dedicate to learning something new; for personal betterment, or just because. The ability to learn, think, process and apply is a lifelong skill and summer is a great time to start it.
Make a schedule and set some goals. Taking a break and sleeping in is great, but after a week or so; your mind and body go to mush. Boredom sets in and the next thing you know, summer is over. By having a simple schedule with attainable goals, you will keep your mind sharp and your body solid to move towards becoming the best version of yourself.
Enjoy your summer!