Taking Advantage of Your Summer

Summer vacation was originally created before air conditioning was invented. Imagine sweltering classrooms in the city. Who would get anything done? Therefore, the logical decision was to let school out for the summer. But that doesn't mean you need to stop learning or working on getting yourself prepared for college admissions once the temperature rises. Here are five ways to take advantage of your summer vacation and have an impact on your grades.

Summer School

Whether you need to catch up on your studies or want to get ahead, summer school is an option. The third most important factor college admissions offices look for is the strength of your course schedule. Taking advantage of summer school from the summer before entering high school until the summer before your senior year will make your college applications more competitive.

Recreational Reading

Spending at least an hour a day reading for pleasure will help improve both your reading comprehension and academic achievement. Go to a library or bookstore, take your time browsing, and then spend an hour lying about and reading. If you prefer digital books, there are plenty of websites out there that allow you to download books for free.

Extracurricular Activities

Over the summer, increasing your participation in extracurricular activities will help give your college applications depth. Research has shown that students who participate in extracurricular activities are better students. Their attendance and grades are typically higher. Over the summer you can do a number of fun things that will be sure to stand out on your college admissions application. Take these, for example:


Doing volunteer work over the summer will prove to the college admissions board that you're are committed to making your community a better place. Search for a volunteer opportunity that fits you, such as serving lunch at a homeless shelter, walking dogs at the local animal shelter, or working with kids in free summer camps. These are all examples of volunteer work that will turn heads.

Spend Time Abroad

Immersing yourself in another culture builds character. By stepping outside of your comfort zone and spending time in another country either as a volunteer or summer student proves to the admission boards that you are flexible, adaptable and committed to growth. You will also have many amazing stories to tell and you a sure to make some life-long friends in the process.

Summer College Programs for High School Students

Colleges and universities offer credit and non-credit courses during the summer. They can last anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months. Perhaps you'd like to improve your writing skills with a creative writing class or start learning another language from scratch. See what you qualify for and take something that interests you. Either way, using the summer to further your studies shows college admission boards that you're serious about your academic career.


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