Some of my past students have spent summers doing the following types of activities:
1. Become an entrepreneur - some have started small businesses including dog & vacation care, private sports or music lessons, custom woodworking, childcare, developed iPhone applications and dessert businesses.
2. Mentor others - I've had many students use their own talent to mentor and coach younger students.
3. Summer Camps/Courses - some students have attended academic enrichment programs confirming college major directions, new skill development or gained independence from spending several weeks away from home.
4. Provide care to family members - some students have taken care of the elderly, younger siblings, they have become the day time care provider while both parents may be working.
5. Conduct research - a few years ago a student was able to use a family connection to gain the opportunity to do brain research at the UC Davis Research Lab. She spent 3 days a week on campus involved with grad students conducting research about brain development and brain damage recovery. Students can create their own research projects.
6. Career exploration - any student can conduct informational interviews to gain insight into careers, paths chosen, lessons learned and exciting new future opportunities in various career fields.
7. Community Service - there are many opportunities for students to get involved with an organization, help people in need, volunteer at the library or local senior center. There are endless opportunities to get involved.
8. Design your future - I hope students gain the perspective that they are in charge of their future. By taking charge - they can develop their path to success. For example - thinking about being a computer science major? Then try programming this summer or creating a new application for your phone. Thinking about being a business major? Get a part-time job and see what working is really all about, or start your own venture and learn real-time about profit and loss. Love English? Start a blog, share your writing with friends, enter writing contests. Future Engineer? Design and build something! Some of my favorite engineers have designed go-karts, hover crafts, custom projects for clients. Love children? Work at a childcare center this summer, volunteer to help parents in your neighborhood by creating a workshop they can attend. Film lover? Write a script, film and edit the project, share with friends, neighbors and others.
Get out and do something!
Insights for parents and students about college admissions.