How to Maximize the Summer Before Your Senior Year

Summer is almost here, which is a time for the beach, ice cream, sunshine, hiking, sleeping late, hanging out with friends...and did I mention ice cream? But you also need to be thinking ahead. With senior year and college applications coming up, we figured we’d share a few tips to get you on the right path to hit the ground running in the fall:

 

Read

Colleges (I’m looking at you Boston College, University of Chicago, Columbia, Wake Forest, and University of Southern California) ask what books you like, so why not use this time to read a few for yourself instead of for class? Need some suggestions? Ask one of your instructors or advisors. Bonus: if you’re still studying for the SAT or ACT, reading for pleasure will help improve your comprehension.

 

Work

Not only is it nice to have some spending money, but colleges also love to see you involved outside the classroom - especially if it is something you’re passionate about. Bonus points if you’re able to do something new and unique! Volunteering is a great alternative if paying jobs aren’t available.

 

Take a class

If you can’t enroll in a local college’s course for credit, there are plenty to find online. Coursera, edX, and Khan Academy all have great options. Colleges appreciate you challenging yourself and going above and beyond with coursework; additional classes can help show further proficiency and mastery of subjects.

 

Test Prep

This is a perfect time to work on standardized testing so you can focus on school come fall. Our tutors will help you strategize about how to maximize your time before the August, September and October tests so you can reach your goals. 

 

Map Out the Road Ahead

Look up when all the deadlines are for the colleges you are applying to and work backward. You should give yourself enough time for all of the essays, supplements, and recommendation letters, which means July and August are the right months to start.

 

Think About Your Common App Essay

You will have to write an essay at some point, so why put it off until the last minute? Check out the essay topics (found here) and see if any of them stand out to you. Write down some thoughts for each now; you can always come back to them later.

 

This may seem like a lot, but it is very manageable when you break it down. There will be plenty of time to enjoy an ice cream cone this summer - but trust me, when school starts up again in the fall, you’ll be glad you thought ahead.  
 

 

-Eli S, Director of Academic Consulting