If you’re a student in high school or college and you hear the word “summer”, what comes to mind? No school? Vacation? Hanging out with friends?
What about you parents? What do you think about in relation to your student and summer? Is it their downtime? Family vacation? They deserve time off because they worked so hard during the school year?
What do both of these perspectives have in common? Answer: There is nothing productive happening! Why is productivity during the summer for a teenager important you ask? Answer: Because more and more colleges are weighing activities students are involved in outside of school in their admissions decisions. Also, this can be an opportunity for a student to explore their intended major without it costing parents financially (changing majors in college can be very expensive) or the student academically.
Are you wondering what productivity looks like for a student during the summer? Here are some options:
– Consistent volunteer work – Not multiple short assignments, but one or two that last the entire summer. This will show a level of commitment on the part of the student.
– Relevant work – A job that teaches skills that can be used later, leadership development and/or exposes students to an area of interest that could become a college major. For students already in college, this could be experience counted towards their major.
– Shadowing/Internships – Find businesses or people doing a job the student is interested in and arrange for them to spend time in that work setting learning what it takes to do that job. Even if it’s for free! College students also have access to cooperative education (Co-Op) experiences where they work for pay and academic credit.
– Academic Enrichment – There are programs offered through colleges/universities and the community that offer academic preparation (i.e. computers, technology, math, engineering, the arts, writing etc).
For a high school student who wants to eventually go to college, just taking it easy during the summer is not smart and is definitely not the best us of your time. For students already in college, make proper use of your time and your degree will be worth more. Parents, getting into college is extremely competitive. Your student deserves every affordable opportunity to enhance their standing in the eyes of college admissions boards. The closer your students get to graduating from high school, the more they need to be sure of their interests, aptitudes, and abilities. College students need as much experience as possible prior to graduating to make getting into their career a smooth transition.
So, don’t use summer breaks to relax, BE PRODUCTIVE!