Do you want to have a productive summer and impress colleges at the same time? In this blog, we will take look at 12 summer activities that will impress colleges.

1. Summer School

You can get all those silly classes done in the summer (typing, health, etc.) so you can focus on your honors and AP classes once the regular school year starts. You will have more room in your schedule once you get rid of those courses that aren’t AP or honors and summer school is a convenient and affordable place to do so. If your school doesn’t offer summer school, try and ask a guidance counselor if you can transfer credits from other high schools who are offering summer school.

2. Go to College

We’re not talking about enrolling full-time but taking an actual class can demonstrate your willingness to challenge yourself and interest in higher education. If you live near a major university you may find that local students are allowed to take courses from that university. You can get that challenge you are looking for from courses and professors only accessible at colleges. Community colleges also look great on your resume and show that you are exploring your interests. While some elite colleges (like Yale, Princeton, and MIT) offer summer programs, they can be expensive and they do not guarantee admission if you apply.

3. Take an Online Course

Online courses can be convenient option if you cannot get a ride to a local college. You can study nearly about anything you want and it’s free, so don’t sleep on them!

4. Enter Scholarship Contests or Competitions 

A lot of competitions are free to high school students and you can get some scholarship money out of it. Whether it be writing or a drawing contest, work towards something that will look good on your resume and help you in the future.

5. Research

Why not get involved in some research on a topic you’re really interested in? You could cold call or email professors and grad students to see if they have a spot for you to get on board. Find people in your area who are currently doing research and figure out if you can help in any way you can. Don’t get discouraged if people turn you down or ignore your emails. You may have to contact many people before finding a position.

6. Get a Job or an Internship

Getting a job could be a good way to help your family out. You could also find paid internships if you look hard enough. If you know where you want to work, don’t be shy and email them that you’re interested. Even if there isn’t necessarily a job posting up for the position you want, emailing the company shows your interest.

7. Get Into Politics

You can volunteer for local political campaigns or offices — they’re usually underfunded and always looking for help.

8. Start a Business

Starting a business can be as simple as teaching violin lessons, tutoring, or walking dogs. You can also check out organizations such as Founders Bootcamp or LaunchX at MIT that can be good opportunities for aspiring entrepreneurs.

9. Test Prep

What perfect time to study for the SAT or the ACT than in the summer! We offer courses for both the SAT and ACT,  so be sure to check those out to stay on top of your prep game.

10. Travel Abroad

There are several programs for high school students to travel and experience other cultures. While these programs can be a bit pricey, some offer scholarships for those who need it.

11. Write Essays (recommended for Juniors)

Summer is a great time to work on your college essays to avoid being swamped once the regular school year begins. Even if the current prompts aren’t released yet, you can go back to previous prompts and adapt them.

12. Visit Some Colleges

Seek opportunities for campus visits to get that in-person feel. You can also look up colleges online and see the experiences they have to offer.