Thursday, June 28, 2012

What Are You Doing with Your Summer?

Snapped this photo at lunchtime. The pit is still busy, even in the summer! Students, visitors, and new first-year students here for orientation keep campus very lively.
We often get asked by students, "what should I be doing with my summer?" Some students worry that their summers need to include big, impressive-sounding experiences that will build up their resume for their college applications. But I encourage you to think of it the other way around. How can you use this time to make the most of the resources and opportunities around you and how can you continue growing and learning while you're on vacation from school? That might sound a little cheesy, but it's true. You have this time, so use it to do something that will help you figure out who you are and where you want to go.

I would say the most important thing is that you do something. There aren't really any bad options here, short of sitting on the sofa all summer eating cheesy poofs and playing video games. Get a job, volunteer, take an art class, counsel kids at camp, take a class at your local community college, get an internship, travel, go to band camp, start your own business--the list of options is endless.

It's a popular myth that all colleges are looking for well-rounded students--students whose extracurricular activities are made up of, for instance, 25% athletics, 30% academics, 20% community service, and 25% working experience. Believe me, there is no such formula. What a boring place this would be if all of our students brought the same combination of experiences and interests!

So don't worry about being well-rounded. Follow your interests and you can't go wrong--and you'll also have a lot more fun along the way.

Of course, if your summer includes college tours, come visit us! And if you're a rising senior, it's never too early to get a jump-start on your college essays.

So what are YOU doing with your summer? I'd love to hear!