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Tips for Having a Productive Summer


High schoolers: summer is here! The next few months are filled with trips, hanging out with friends, catching up on sleep—maybe even working your first internship. For many of us, the summer is also a chance to reflect, to explore interests, learn, and take advantage of a flexible schedule. College admissions looks to see how you spend your time outside of the academic year, so why not use it to your advantage?

Here are some ways you can strengthen your skill set, beef up your resume for college applications, and have a productive summer!

  1. Explore your interests. Learn how to code. Start a blog. Take a photography class. Do whatever inspires you and gets you out of bed in the morning!

  2. Not sure what interests to pursue? Take the Strong Interest Inventory® assessment. The questionnaire will help determine your areas of interest and identify areas of study required when choosing a college major. My Pathway to College offers personalized assessments and feedback, which you can read more about here.

  3. Take classes at your local college or university. Use the summer term to learn a new subject; take introductory courses to help you decide what your area of interest is —  whether it’s marketing, biochemistry or journalism. You’ll get college credit, too!

  4. Want to beef up your resume? Volunteer! You’ll acquire valuable job skills and have something extra to add to your college application.

  5. Or get a job. Work at your local restaurant, library, or store. You’ll pick up some people skills and learn how to think on your feet.

  6. Pick up a book, or three. Read subjects you’re interested in. Look to bestseller lists for inspiration, from the NYTimes, Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound.

  7. Take SAT prep tests. Khan Academy is now offering free full-length practice test and step-by-step video explanations of the problems you missed.

  8. Brainstorm college essay ideas. You can find the 2015-16 essay prompts here.

  9. Build a portfolio. Gather papers and projects that represent your skill set, character, and intellect. A digital folder or personalized site is a great way to organize and manage over the years. Weebly is a popular site to build an online portfolio.

For other ideas and a list of comprehensive college application services, contact My Pathway to College.


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