Summer Time = Best time to add to your resume of Activities for college applications!
So, you are looking forward to that dearly prized summer vacation if you are in secondary school in the United States. If you are an international student, depending on where you live, you might not be having summer at all, and you might also not have an extended time off. Believe it or not, that is a bonus for the college application game. You, who are working all year around, have much more impressive resumes of activities! The downside is that, although you have a substantial resume, the number of openings in colleges in the US is less for international students than for those who are living in the US. The converse is true for US students wanting to go abroad for college. There is also the pesky language requirement! You can’t go to college in a country where you can’t understand the classes.
Ok, all that aside, say you are in the United States and you are so excited to not be working in school, does that mean you can just play the summer and relax? I doubt most of you can do that at all. Most have activities scheduled, which can be fun, and others have jobs. Which should you do?
Well from the standpoint of looking at a potential college candidate, I like to recommend a planning approach from the winter of sophomore year to the winter of senior fall. All semesters, including the summer break, is planned ahead. Yes! The summer is the optimum time to really add some great experiences that broaden the candidate’s resume and offer many rewards in terms of maturity.
There are roughly 12 weeks of time for each of the two summers leading into senior fall, which are prime time for adding to your resume. We will discuss the first one now.
Rising junior summer, I always suggest that at least 3 weeks of time be vacation time…not consecutively, usually. Maybe two weeks of family fun, and a week right after school. Then plan on starting test preparation for the standardized tests, which you will be taking junior year. There are a host of options for this, contact us for guidance!
Courses, tutoring, a camp intensive class, etc. are just some of the options. Should I take this SAT or ACT class at a college? I am 100% against that option. First, the course is not offered by the college but by a company. Second, the college is simply renting out space in its dorms for this program. You will not get college credit. Most of these programs do not translate into big score improvements by the time you take the tests during the school year. In short, these are very costly trips to a college campus. You can take the exact same course, probably from the same company even, at home. Unless you are getting some kind of credit for attending a college, do not waste the money!!
Another great opportunity to mature and add some credit to your resume during the summer is a paying job. Does it have to be an internship at some glamorous company? Not at all! In fact, most internship jobs in companies are not really given to high school students, but jobs such as: camp counselors, retail sales or stock clerks, landscaping assistants, fitness center assistants, lifeguards, and a whole host of other positions are available for short term busy periods in the summer. You should try very hard to apply for these jobs now. Many of these jobs are filled by Memorial Day.
Working shows responsibility, commitment, time management and accountability. You might not be able to work the entire summer, but see if you can parlay a position for at least 3 to 6 weeks. Some even are able to keep the job part-time throughout the school year. Always great, if it doesn’t impact your grades during school; other’s need to work, and for those who do, perhaps you can add more hours in the summer to help offset the reduced hours during the school year.
Community service jobs or events are also another good way to spend some time during rising junior summer. Consider a regular volunteer position at a local charity, hospital, assisted living facility, daycare or boys’ & girls’ clubs. Many creative students are able to combine some community service projects with a paying job to spend 5 or 6 weeks of summer time. The more active and responsible you are with your time is a great opportunity to learn some skills you do not get to use in school, such as negotiation, patience, listening and initiative.
So you’ve done some work, community service, had a vacation and studied for your SAT! That is a very full summer for a rising junior. If you add a camp or even a college credit program that you can attend for writing, art, math or music, all the better. If not, you’ve done a lot already! Many cannot fit in so much, it is ok if you can’t; you have another summer to go.
Now is also the time to start that resume formally. There a whole host of templates available; I am happy to send a free template to those who want. How do you add these new found skills to your resume? Contact us!
Now the second summer ahead…rising Senior summer….this is a different game plan! Look for it next!