By Wiener Douyon, CollegeFindMe Intern, Incoming Freshman at Colby College
Your time has come!
I’m excited to share how I took advantage of my summer vacation last year as a rising senior to focus on extracurricular activities. I also share suggestions for you to make the most of your summer. Whether it’s an internship, community service, or even working, these school breaks are crucial as you apply to college. Use these tips to make your profile on the Common App and your resume more appealing to admissions.
My summer in a flash!
Last summer I had the opportunity to travel to Argentina with an organization known as The Experiment in International Living. The Experiment is the largest traveling group for high school students that aims to promote cultural immersion and growth in various subjects. The program consists of over 80 trips around the world, and some themes include culinary arts (France), Anime (Japan), Marine Biology (Mexico), and so much more.
I went to Argentina with 15 other high schoolers who live across America. Not knowing who they were beforehand, we spent the entire trip building relationships with each other and I can now say that some are a few of my closest friends. The theme of the Argentina trip was Community Service and the Outdoors, meaning that we were doing activities that promote community and spark our love for nature.
Community service activities included painting an orphanage and playing soccer or frisbee with children. Outdoor activities consisted of white water rafting, camping, hiking, and horseback riding. In all, I was able to culturally immerse myself in another country, communicate mostly in Spanish and practice being out of my comfort zone doing activities that I hadn’t done before. This experience was fun, helped me build my self-confidence and looked good on my application.
What can YOU do?
Below are some suggestions on what you can do this summer. This list is general so do more research on how to land these opportunities in your community.
1. Summer College Programs
Most towns and communities have summer programs for children of all ages. Based on your interests, you could be a counselor or guide for a sports or kids’ camp program in your area.
2. Community Service
Nowadays, colleges are looking not only for what you can do academically but also what you can do for your community. The longer you volunteer at a certain place, the more attractive you are to colleges. Colleges are looking for commitment!
Potential opportunities near you could include an elderly home, a local food bank, a national park service site (I would recommend this one!), or even a hospital.
Internships come in all shapes and sizes. While not all internships pay, many offer school credits and other boons. In fact, many corporations and organizations would be more than happy to have you join.
- I would recommend researching a few sites like LinkedIn, Internships.com, and Idealist.org. Research unpaid internships first because they’re more accessible and they tend to provide more flexible scheduling.
- Some possible locations where you might find internship opportunities are zoos, hospitals, start-ups and research companies.
- CollegeFindMe also offers internships where you can work remotely. Recruit your friends and earn money (and points)!
There are tons of opportunities out there so use these suggestions to do some research. I wish you the best in whatever you take part in!
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