Are you in high school and looking for what to do over the summer? In this blog we’ll go over 50 ideas of what you can do during your summer vacation.
1. Take a Class at a Local Community College
Did you know classes at community colleges are often free for high school students? Places like UCLA also offer some classes to high school upperclassmen. Also, the state of California offers offers free community college classes to students who attend public school. Ask your school counselor about opportunities!
2. Do a Pre-College Program
Many elite universities offer programs like these. Other universities offer them as well. Pre-College Programs are often 1 week academic immersion experiences. They can be expensive, but you can also check to see if they offer any scholarship or aid.
3. Explore College Majors
Check out our video on picking your college major!
4. Take an Online Course
There are a lot of places on the web where you can take an online course and earn a certificate. You can also learn something new that you didn’t know before, whether it’s academic or non-academic.
5. Get Involved in Theater or Music
Look into joining a performing arts camp or participating in community theater. Maybe you could also play in the pit orchestra for your community theater!
6. Find Science Opportunities
Look for a science day camp or sleep-away camp for a STEM subject like engineering. Or you can get your science on through local clubs and activities!
7. Visual Arts Program
If you’re artistically inclined, look for a visual arts class or program you can take! This would include something like painting or sculpture classes.
8. Study for the SAT or ACT
If you want to boost your test score and increase your admission’s chances, then study for the SAT or ACT! You can check out our online courses here to help you prep. For a free option, check out our YouTube channel!
9. Take Private lessons
Are you interested in learning an instrument, or how to dance? Look into private lessons to get one-on-one instruction!
10. Learn a Foreign Language
11. Learn a Programming Language
You can learn new languages through an online class or an in-person experience.
12. Learn a Software Program
You can learn how to use Adobe Photoshop or InDesign, or even something like Canva.
13. Build Your Leadership Skills
Attend a leadership symposium, or participate in a program like Boy’s or Girl’s State.
14. Write Something
Whether you always wanted to write a novel, or you’re interested in poetry, now is a great time to write!
15. Get an Internship
16. Do Research
One way to do research is to find a local professor or university that will help mentor you. Some high schools may also have research programs you can get involved in.
17. Start a Business
You can start tutoring, dog sitting, or even set up your own Etsy store.
18. Be a Camp Counselor
Too old to attend your old camp? You can also find camps looking for camp counselors.
As a caveat, a lot of high schoolers will start tutoring at this time.
20. Do a Service Project
Come up with a project to help your community. This could be building an app for a local organization or building benches in a local park.
21. Summer Volunteer
Many organizations offer volunteer opportunities over the summer.
22. Job Shadowing
Job shadowing may not look great on your college application, but it’s great if you still have questions about what career you might be interested in.
23. Get a Job
Even if it’s a job at your local fast food place or ice cream shop, don’t worry if you think the job is too mundane. If you learn something about life, or meet new people, it’s still a good experience.
24. Work on your College List
25. Visit Colleges
Note that colleges may not be open for business during the summer, however, this would be a great time to make it to some places that are too far to travel to during the school year.
26. Find a Summer Abroad Program
27. Read the Newspaper
It’s a good idea to educate yourself on current events. It could help you if you can speak to things bigger in the world on your college applications.
28. Make a LinkedIn
Social media can be a total landmine when it comes to college admissions. One good way to start your professional life is to make a LinkedIn profile.
29. Clean up Social Media
If you think you may have any snarky comments on your social media profiles, now is a good time to clean them up before you start applying to colleges.
30. Make a Short Video or Documentary
Film making takes way longer than you think it will!
31. Start a Podcast
32. Search for Scholarships
33. Start a YouTube channel
34. Take Cooking Classes
Or learn to make something new on your own.
35. Work in a Community Garden
Or start your own garden at home!
36. Advocate for the Environment
This could mean helping with composting programs, or finding a way to make your community greener. Try to see if there are organizations you can get involved with locally to help make our world a greener place.
37. Volunteer for a Political Campaign
38. Math Out
Study for the AMC 10, or take an advanced math class.
39. Get Athletic
Go hiking, or train for a 5k.
40. Enter a Contest
For whatever you’re interested in, if you want to have awards on your application, then you have to enter contests!
41. Find Ways to Zen Out
Start meditating, or try yoga.
42. Make a Book List and Read Through it
Oftentimes students applying to college lack an interesting history of reading material that can help them with applications and interviews. Reading books can help you have more to say.
43. Watch Some TED Talks
TED Talks are presentations with interesting ideas given by scholars and authors who are very well respected. These talks can help you to percolate your ideas and get you thinking.
44. Start Planning College Essays
45. Start Your Own Club
46. Learn to Sew or Make Clothes
47. Document Your Family History
Have you ever wanted to figure out your family tree? Start some genealogy research.
48. Engineer Something
You could get interested in 3D printing, or build something with modeling clay.
49. Don’t Eat Alone
Whether your mom is eating lunch on her work break, or your friends you haven’t seen since school ended, find someone to eat with.
50. Help Your Parents Out
Ask your parents if there are any projects you can help out with around the house!