My Top 10 Summer Activities


I’ve had several parents ask me recently about activities I recommend over the summer during high school. Summers are a great time to take advantage of the days and make a future impression on your high school resume.

Here is my list of the Top 10 summer activities:

  1. SAT/ACT Prep–summer is the best time to spend doing some SAT prep and improving vocabulary. There are awesome sites online for this. Just check out my post Top 5 SAT Prep Sites.
  2. Scholarship Searches–Even if your teen isn’t a senior yet, it’s a good practice to do some preliminary searching to make note of qualifications and deadlines. Note: Look locally first. Local scholarships are less competitive and often easily earned. For some search sites, check out my post of the Top 10 Scholarship Search sites.
  3. Volunteer–Encourage your teen to start volunteering in his/her community. A consistent pattern of volunteering each summer looks great on applications and shows colleges that your teen is concerned about giving back.
  4. Get a job or start a business–Summer is a good time to make some cash for that college fund and also demonstrate responsibility. Many teens actually go the entrepreneurial route and start a business: lawn mowing, babysitting, tutoring, etc.
  5. Write–Probably the last thing your teen wants to do over the summer is write. But writing is good preparation for the college essay and the writing portion of the SAT. Journaling is a great way to do this and will also serve to spur your teen’s creativity.
  6. Make some preliminary college visits–I stress “preliminary” here since visiting colleges in the summer isn’t the best time to get a clear picture of college life. But it’s a great time to wander around and explore the campuses.
  7. iTunes UniversityiTunes University is an excellent way for your teen to get an idea of what college courses might be like. It’s free and there is a wide array of subject matter to choose from. You can access it on your iPhone or iTouch or by downloading iTunes on your computer.
  8. Start or focus on a hobby–Hobbies are great ways that your teen can stand out from the pack on his/her college application. But it needs to be consistent throughout high school.
  9. Spend some time on social media–You won’t have to pull their arms to get them to do this; but it needs to be focused. Have them spend some time on Twitter to follow some college tweets. They should also read some blogs from college students and perhaps connect with some on Facebook from the colleges they are considering. Check out my list of the Top 30 College Info Twitterers.
  10. Read–Yes. I know…I can hear it now…BORING. But honestly, reading is one of the BEST summer activities to enhance their academic success and improve their vocabulary. And if he/she likes Ayn Rand, there are several big money scholarships given each year for essays on her books!

What are your favorite summer activities with your college-bound teens? Do you have any other suggestions?

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