7 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Summer Vacation 7 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Summer Vacation
BY LINDSEY HANNAH Summer. A time to sleep in late, go to the beach or just do nothing for a solid two months before... 7 Ways to Make the Most out of Your Summer Vacation

BY LINDSEY HANNAH

Summer. A time to sleep in late, go to the beach or just do nothing for a solid two months before school starts again in the fall. With college admissions growing ever more selective, however, students hoping to compete with others nationwide might not be able to enjoy these luxuries without any time dedicated to productive activities. There are certainly more than seven ways to boost your resume without sacrificing your summer, but let’s just go over the basics here.

1. Dual Enrollment

Dual enrollment is a good option for anyone who wants to gain experience in real college classes, gain college credit or boost their GPA. If you are worried about getting there or fitting it into a busy schedule, worry not. Online classes are offered for the same credit, some of which do not even require going to the testing lab.

2. FLVS Classes

Online classes are a great way to get required classes out of the way or speed up advancement in a subject or program. They can also serve as a way to take classes that are not offered at

Online classes are a great way to get required classes out of the way or speed up advancement in a subject or program. They can also serve as a way to take classes that are not offered at school. You can even take extra AP classes to boost your GPA and earn college credit.

3. Summer Job

The fact that it is not an academic extracurricular may mislead some into thinking that a summer job won’t impress colleges. The fact is, though, that the real-world experience and initiative shown through working over the summer is a good indicator of exceptional character for colleges. Not to mention that the experiences you gain will add to the reserve of stories you can pull from to answer college admissions essays.

4. Volunteering

Volunteering is a requirement to graduate, qualify for Bright Futures scholarships and get a silver cord on graduation day. It also has the potential to yield experiences that work wonders on college admissions essays. The graduation requirement is 40 hours and a silver cord requires 250 hours. Different tiers of Bright Futures scholarships require different numbers of hours. The top tier requires 100 and the middle and bottom tiers require 75. The summer is the perfect time to knock out a large number of hours since the school year can be chaotic with class work and other commitments.

5. Camp/Sport

Not only are these great ways to spend time with friends doing things you love, but they also can earn you some extra cash or help fill out your college applications. Doing anything continuously throughout high school always looks good to colleges, too. As a camp counselor, you can have all the fun of camp without having to pay for it. In fact, the camp might pay you! Otherwise, some camps offer service hours in exchange for counseling. Summer sports also contribute to your appearance as a well rounded individual, which will impress colleges.

6. Studying/Testing

Although most college applications do not open until the fall of senior year, you should be studying for college entrance exams as early as the summer before your junior year. In the fall of junior year, students take the PSAT. This is not only used to prepare for the SAT, but is the means through which students can qualify for National Merit Scholarships. With a high enough score, students can enter into the first level of a scholarship competition which could guarantee immense scholarships. Even if you do not earn a scholarship directly from the organization, putting that you were recognized by National Merit on your resume could result in institutional awards from colleges themselves. Beyond the PSAT, the summer is the optimal time to prepare for the SAT and ACT. It is especially important to make use of this time by evaluating yourself to determine if you are better at the ACT or SAT. This way, you can know which to prepare for in more depth and take multiple times to improve your score.

7. College applications

The summer before senior year, the Common App and other college applications become available. It is a good idea to get started on your essays as soon as the prompts are made public. They can take weeks to write and rewrite until you are left with a product that is representative of you and is free of errors. Once school starts in the fall, seniors are swamped with class work, testing, applications and extracurricular activities. Essays are one thing that cannot be rushed, so make use of summer vacation to take the time to get it right.

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