PARENTS: Help Your Students Get the Most Out of Their High School Summers

It’s only May—your student still has two months of homework and then finals to get through. But summer break is sooner than you think. How can your students get the most out of their high school summers and amp up their college applications?

NOTE: If your student is a senior, congratulations, you don’t have to worry about college applications anymore. Move on to a blog post on picking a school or going on a campus visit.

If your student is a sophomore or a junior, though, keeeeep reading.

Summers are not the time to forget about the rest of life. Instead, it’s super important to use the summer to support your student’s college application. There are three things that your student needs to do:

1)   Do something meaningful to them that helps them grow

2)   Keep an eye on exam prep

3)   Avoid overworking themselves

Summer and the Essay

What your student does during their summer may be the thing they end up writing their college essay about. Now, they don’t have to cure cancer over the summer. They don’t have to do something academic. It can be structured, with a group, or on their own. A job, an internship, a research project, artistic endeavor. So long as it’s unique and meaningful to them, a genuine interest they have, and helps them grow or learn about themselves or learn about the world, it will look good as part of their college application.

Summer and Exam Prep

Another super important thing to keep in mind is exam prep. It’s a tough pill to swallow, but summertime is not a three-month-long nap. Senior year workload is gonna get INTENSE, especially when college application supplements are released and then you know what hits the fan when they realize how much work they have to do. Some gentle but firm reminders of that reality can help high school juniors realize the importance of doing some studying over the summer or taking a class. Keep in mind, though, every student’s test prep needs are different, and it’s about figuring out what will help your student the most.

Summer and REST

Thirdly, some rest and relaxation IS helpful. Your student has probably been working like crazy all year and will be working like crazy again in the fall. You don’t want them to burn out by the end of September by pushing them too hard over the summer.

So encourage meaningful activities and an intelligent, responsible approach to test prep, but give students a little time to breathe, too. It will make the fall application season go that much smoother if they have the energy they’ll need to give their applications their full effort.

 

(Image source here.)

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