Summer is upon us, and I am sure your plans include some serious beach time. But what else is on your calendar? A job? A camp? Volunteering? A few summer courses?
Whatever your plans, make them worthwhile. Do something useful. If possible, do something for others; take some time to make a small mark -- leave a few footprints in the sand, if you will.
Here are a few ideas that might interest you.
You should begin your campus visits and tours as early as possible -- eighth grade is not too soon. Every time the family takes a trip, include a campus or two in the itinerary. And don't forget to visit schools of all sizes, from small private schools to large public universities. When you visit, try to assess the culture of the campus. No matter how good the school, if there is not a "fit", then it's not the place for you.
Is there some coursework you want to get out of the way? Many students use summer to fulfill their obligations for required courses. This leaves open schedule time during the regular school year for taking additional courses in your field of interest. Caution: Do not use summer courses for math and science classes. These classes require the full experience to get the maximum benefit.
A Summer Job
Work? Who, you? Yeah, you. Earn your keep. Earn the money for that new laptop you need (actually just want). Start your college fund. You'll need lots of money in college, even if you have a scholarship. And, by the way, admissions departments love to see a work history on resumes and applications. Holding down a job is an indicator of your ability to take on responsibility. So a job is a "twofer": money in your pocket and a great entry on your college application.
There are many different types camps available to you. Most of them are on college campuses and focus on areas of interest that could become part of your future plans. Engineering camps, math camps, medical studies camps, marine biology camps, music camps, art camps, adventure camps. All sorts of camps. And a camp can be a perfect way to find out if a particular field is really for you. A trial before a commitment.
Rather than attend a camp, become part of a camp. All sorts of camps for young children look for teens to be counselors. It's an opportunity to be away from home for a while, meet some new friends, and earn some money at the same time. And colleges like seeing camp counselor on your resume (see Summer Job above). I'm sure a quick Internet search will turn up a number of opportunities.
Whatever your plans, I wish you a great summer!
This article was originally posted May 27, 2014.
About this Page
I have had a rewarding and complete classroom career teaching and coaching mathematics.
Variable Thinking is my way of sharing some of my ideas, tips, and savvy about education and student success with you.
I hope find the comments and articles interesting and useful to both you and your student.