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Top 3 Summer Activities

It’s summer time, and students and parents are always asking me, “How should I be spending my summer?” Summer is a great time to prepare for the year ahead and take on new activities to help you stand out from the pack. There are 3 types of summer activities I recommend.


Many top tier colleges offer summer classes and programs to high school students. Getting good grades in these classes tells the colleges you’re applying to that you can excel at college-level work.

My junior year, I attended the Summer Scholars Program at Wash U in St. Louis where I took a French class and a poli sci class. If you’re worried about the bill, many of these programs offer financial assistance. Wash U covered over half of my expenses for the program because of demonstrated need.

If you go down this road, take classes you like that will also get you something you need. I couldn’t take French my junior year because of class schedule conflicts, but taking it during the summer allowed me to test into French 4 my senior year.

You also want to take classes at a college that is similarly rigorous to where you are planning to apply if possible and take classes related to your Base. This will demonstrate that you are ready for your planned course of study.


Summer is a great time to work on your volunteer activities. You can design a program or event for the school year. You have a lot more time to focus on front loading the work and coordinating with businesses to have a successful event or program. Summer is also a great time to write grants in support of your volunteer activities

You can combine this with a job and get an internship at a non-profit or other business that will support the program or event you design and run. Great double duty action.


Summer jobs are super popular. Everybody wants some extra cash. Instead of getting an ordinary job like everyone else, try starting your own business. Maybe you’re great at coding and can get a few freelance web design jobs. Maybe you love teaching kids and can start your own tutoring business. Think about your Base and what relates to it. Even if you don’t get any clients, you will learn a TON by running your own business.

Action Steps:

Give me your 3 summer activities:
1. Academic
2. Volunteering
3. Job

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2 Responses to “Top 3 Summer Activities

  • Shirley
    4 years ago

    Question: Do you mean do one of these three things? Or two or all three?

    • These are three options. Students can do one, two, or all three in different summer or the same.

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