Suggestions from Mears College Consulting:
- Do not spend the summer hours languishing in a coffee house sipping an iced latte.
- Do not devote days attempting to get to the next level on your favorite video game.
- Do not idle away the days perfecting your tan.
It is acceptable, and maybe even required, to take a break. Students need some idle time to wind down and relax after a taxing school year and the stress of final exams. Students need to decompress and recharge. That is not in question. However, a week or two should suffice, not a month or two. And during the down time, pick up a novel. Read something for fun, or delve into a selection from your required summer reading list. This will help with reading comprehension, vocabulary, and fluidity – important skills for those standardized tests.
Summer is also an excellent time to take an SAT or ACT prep class. Without the rigors of regular school work, students can devote their time to preparing for these standardized tests. Practice is critical when it comes to performing well on the SAT and ACT, so enroll in a prep class, buckle down, and take a few sample tests.
How about a college road trip? While summer is not the ideal time to visit colleges, as students are not likely to be on campus in full force, you can still meet with an admissions representative, interview, or at least take a college tour. I routinely incorporate a college tour into each of our family vacations, regardless of where we are vacationing. For example, I have toured Davidson College while in Charlotte and Coastal Carolina University while in Myrtle Beach. Even if the college in close proximity to your vacation destination is not on your top ten list, it can be valuable in determining if an urban, suburban, or rural college may be a good fit. Or if a smaller, private liberal arts college feels 'right' compared to a larger public university. Additionally, it is beneficial to have a college visit under your belt to serve as a reference point to which you can compare other colleges in the future.
Another option to consider is getting a job. Yes, a minimum wage position at your local ice cream shop or grocery store is a worthy experience. You learn responsibility, taking direction from others, important customer service skills, and the meaning of a dollar earned through a hard day's work. Priceless! And for students who require financial aid, colleges want to see you are dedicated enough to secure employment and contribute to your own tuition.
So spend a week at the beach. Take a family vacation. But be certain your summer plans include an enriching activity to enhance your college application.
If you require assistance planning your summer activities, contact Mears College Consulting today.