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    Summer Activities that Prepare You for College Admission and Help You Stand Out

    Posted by Mark Cruver, M. Ed. CSA, CEP

    Selecting a suitable summer activity can be the one thing that sets you apart from other college applicants. While many high school students spend their summers relaxing and enjoying themselves, it's important to remember that you can do things to improve your chances of getting into the college of your choice. College admissions officers are looking for students who have taken the time to develop their interests and skills. Keep reading to learn about some great summer activities that will help you prepare for college admission and set you apart from other applicants!


    Summer Job

    Summer jobs are a great way to show college admissions officers that you’re responsible and can manage your time, and they also allow you to develop new skills and interests. Here are a few of the many benefits of a summer job that can set you apart when it comes time for college admission decisions.

    Teaches Responsibility

    A summer job is an excellent way for you to learn responsibility. You will know how to show up on time, complete assigned tasks, and deal with customers or clients.

    Builds Work Ethic

    Another benefit of having a summer job is that it can help to build a strong work ethic. You will learn the importance of hard work and dedication as you complete your daily tasks.

    Teaches Time Management Skills

    A summer job can teach valuable time management skills. You will learn to balance your work schedule with other commitments, such as school or extracurricular activities.

    Helps Build Confidence

    Finally, having a summer job can help build your confidence. You will feel good about yourself when you can complete your tasks and receive positive feedback from your employer.



    Summertime is an excellent opportunity for high school students to get involved in volunteer work. Colleges are increasingly looking for applicants committed to helping others and improving their community. Volunteering provides an opportunity for students like you to do just that. Many colleges value community service involvement highly.


    Online Courses

    Summer is the perfect time to take online courses to learn new skills or explore new interests. An online course demonstrates your willingness to continue learning and can easily set you apart from other college applicants. Online courses like those found on Coursera are a great way to fit learning into your busy schedule, and you can take them from anywhere in the world. They also allow you to connect with other students from around the globe who share your interests. These courses will demonstrate to college admissions counselors that you are serious about learning and are willing to go above and beyond to gain knowledge in the subject of your choice. Summer is the time, so don’t miss out on this opportunity! 


    Blog or Vlog

    Summer is the perfect time to start a blog or vlog about topics that interest you. Students are often so busy with their coursework and other activities that they don't have time to do something like this. However, during the summer, you can utilize your free time to work on a blog or vlog. College admissions officers love applicants with creative voices, so starting a blog or vlog about topics that interest you. Some of the more popular platforms to host your blog or vlog are WordPressMediumWixGhost, or Tumblr. Express and curate your passions in a blog or vlog to develop your writing and storytelling skills and build an audience for your work. 


    Summer Programs

    Summer programs allow students to learn about a subject in depth, meet new people, and get a taste of college life. They can help students hone their skills and stand out from other college applicants too. Attending summer programs at universities are excellent opportunities for high school students to enhance their academic profile and even earn college credit. Summer programs can be a great way to connect with other aspiring scholars and show colleges that you’re passionate about learning. They look great on college applications as they demonstrate your commitment and enthusiasm for the subject. Some focus on a particular subject, such as math or science, while others allow students to explore a range of interests.


    Spending your summer taking steps to improve your college applications can seem like a lot of work, but it's worth it. It's important to remember that many of your fellow applicants will spend their summers relaxing and enjoying themselves. If you want to get ahead, you need to take the time to develop your interests and skills. Fortunately, plenty of great summer activities will help you prepare for college admission and set you apart from other applicants! So what are you waiting for? Make your summers count – do something extraordinary to help you get into the college of your choice!

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    Mark Cruver, M. Ed. CSA, CEP

    Mark Cruver, M. Ed. CSA, CEP