After a long winter and an even longer school year, everyone is excited for the endless opportunities that summer brings. It is also commonly known that these days, students need to utilize their summers to engage in meaningful enrichment activities—internships, jobs, camps, traveling, volunteering—in order to ramp up their college applications.
The last thing a high school student wants to do is work hard with their noses in books all fall, winter, spring, and summer. The good news is that teens can have a meaningful summer while also having fun and relaxing.
Here are five engaging summer activities that are entertaining, low-maintenance, fun, and will look good on college applications: the ultimate cheat sheet for teens.
The Ultimate Cheat Sheet on Summer
1. Start a blog.
Blogging allows for flexibility and creativity, and is a great way for a teen to start a writing portfolio—all of which will contribute strongly to college applications. You can also blog about whatever you’d like: a summer vacation or trip, a day-to-day hobby, sports, books, etc. It’s easy and free to get started and to share your posts on social media. You are only a few steps away from becoming an author!
Some blogging websites to try:
2. Learn a language.
There are many summer language camps and programs available across the country and across the world for any interest and any language. Summer seems like a very short period of time to learn a language, but if you study intensively for two months, your skills will improve drastically. Traveling abroad and staying in a homestay is probably the fastest and most effective way to learn a languate. If you'd rather stay local, you can opt to learn a language on your own through a program like Rosetta Stone. Colleges will be “wowed” by your ambition and self-motivation.
3. Learn a new skill.
Have you ever wished you could juggle or run a 5 minute/mile? Summer is the perfect time to teach yourself a new skill, as you have extra time to practice. Your skill doesn’t even need to do with school or academics—students who take initiative to teach themselves new things are often seen as forward thinking and curious. At the end of the summer, you could even have an interesting and unique topic for your college essay.
4. Create and sell artwork.
If you’re passionate about art, you already know this would be a great way to spend a summer. But to make your experience more meaningful, and hopefully make a little saving money, try reaching out to websites like Etsy. Unfortunately, you have to be 20 years old to sell products on Etsy, so ask your parents to create and manage a profile for you—that way, you can focus solely on your creations! If you aren't an artist but want to experiment with different mediums, sign up for a class at a local college, or an art summer program.
5. Start a business.
As a teenager with only a few months to spare, you will not be able to open a legitimate business with a storefront, website, and investors. You can start a business out of your home or your backyard. Try creating a babysitting profile on Care.com or Sittercity.com, making lunches for your neighbors, painting houses, or selling snacks and drinks on a busy street. You can team up with your siblings, parents, or friends to create a diverse and fun "company." You may be surprised by how much fun you have while also making money.
While all of these activities will make your college applications stronger, you will also enter the school year with unique experiences and new interests. Can you imagine having an enriching summer that’s relaxing and educational at the same time? Now that is the ultimate cheat sheet on summer.