We still have a couple months of the traditional school year left, but it’s never too early to start planning your summer! The summer months for you may mean relaxing, traveling, sports, or even more schoolwork (homeschool life!), but have you ever considered how your summer activities can affect your future? If you’re aiming to enter a challenging career field or attend a selective school (on a scholarship!), you’ll want to spend your summers wisely. But that doesn’t mean the fun has to stop! Here are 3 ways to spend your summer wisely while enjoying it.
Summer Plan 1: Pre-college Programs
Whether it’s Northwestern University’s High School Policy Debate Program or UChicago’s Arts and Sciences Summer, there are tons of options to explore a topic you love on a college campus. While this might sound like more school in the summer, these programs are far from that. In fact, they offer something that many homeschool families are seeking: a way to learn outside the traditional classroom format. From hands-on experience to real-life projects, pre-college programs give you the opportunity to pursue interest-based knowledge while having fun. Plus, you get to practice being a college student!
Some non-academic things I gained experience with during the pre-college program I attended last year include:
- navigating a college campus (without a tour guide!)
- living with a roommate (and, in my case, suitemates)
- managing time and choosing priorities (without any adults reminding me)
Pre-college programs teach you about your favorite subjects while giving you experience with the real world away from home. I highly recommend one for any high school student! Here are some programs to look into.
(Psst: pre-college programs can be expensive, so check out my post about how I fundraised for my pre-college program!)
Summer Plan 2: Community Service
From volunteering at a youth camp to serving in a food pantry, there are tons of options for serving your community during the summer. Volunteering is a great way to answer the Bible’s call for us to “do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share” (1 Timothy 6:18, NIV). Your time is one of your most valuable possessions. Why not give it away to a cause that benefits others? Visit the elderly in nursing homes, read to developmentally disabled children at daycares, or simply work behind the scenes in an organization or your church.
I saw my character grow and change exponentially as I spent more time serving others. I noticed my concerns becoming more selfless, my work ethic strengthening, and my self-discipline solidifying. Community service is a huge benefit to yourself, too!
When you spend your summer volunteering, not only are you helping other people and yourself. You’re also fulfilling the law of Christ (Galatians 6:2, NIV).
Summer Plan 3: Personal Project
There are all sorts of opportunities you can create for yourself this summer! Without traveling or spending much money, you can create a project that allows you to develop your skills and talents, or simply release some creativity. Whether you’re writing a novel in a month with Camp NaNoWriMo or starting a photography journal, there are plenty of unique ways to pursue your passions.
My personal blog began as a school assignment and flourished into an extracurricular project. I used the summer before my sophomore year to focus in on my content and engagement, growing as a blogger and writer. To this day, I’m so glad I spent so much time learning how to create internet content. It prepared me for my internship with MPE today!
If you’re simply not sure what to do with your summer, start thinking about your interests and passions. Do you like biology, statistics, fashion, cooking? Prioritize time with your passions and watch your skill grow!
So there are three plan options for your summer! How do you usually spend your breaks from school? What are you planning for this year? Let us know in the comments!
We have updated this blog post, originally published in April 2018, for timeliness and detail.