College admission offices receive a lot of applications. Especially if you’re applying to particularly selective university, it helps to have something to make your application stand out.
It’s tempting to spend your whole summer vacation lounging on the beach, but picking up a few extracurricular activities can really help your chances of getting into your dream school. That’s not to say you shouldn’t enjoy your time off but dedicating a little bit of it to preparing for college can go a long way.
Get a Job
It’s common for high schoolers to work summer jobs. Sure, the money is nice, but did you know it could also help you get into college? Being a reliable summer employee shows you have a strong work ethic and drive to succeed and can act as a topic for college essays.
If you can get a job related to what you want to study in college, that’s even better. It’ll put you ahead of your peers and show that you’re really passionate about your field of study. Don’t think you can’t apply to internships either. Although college students usually work internships, an employer may be impressed by your initiative and bring you on board to learn and work with them.
Start a Business
An alternative to getting a job is starting your own business. This could be something as simple as a lawn mowing service or something as complex as designing websites for local businesses. If you have the skills, put them to work! Your talents, enterprise and business savvy will impress college admission officers.
This would be especially impressive if you’re planning on majoring in business or can start something related to your intended major if it’s in a field other than business. Even if you don’t know what you plan to study yet, starting a business can help give you an edge.
Studying abroad can be both an exciting adventure and a chance to impress college admission offices. It’ll show them that you’re willing to step outside of your comfort zone and are curious about the world. Plus, learning even a little bit of another language can be extremely useful.
You can find study abroad opportunities all around the world from Hong Kong to Canada to Costa Rice to London summer school programs. There are also programs available at universities here in the U.S.
Volunteering always looks great on a college application. Giving your time to a cause will show that you care about others and that you’re willing to commit to a project. If you can find something related to your major or another area you’re interested in, your passion will show through even more.
You could even start your own charity project. Collect donations for a cause, organize a benefit event or inspire a change in your local community. This will showcase your creativity, drive, and willingness to stand up for your beliefs.
Waiting for that letter from your dream school to tell you if you got in or not can be nerve-wracking. By spending some of your summer doing one of these four activities, you can provide yourself with a little more peace of mind. You’ll know you did everything you could to make your application stand out from the crowd.