Whether you are a senior or an incoming freshman, summer is an ideal time to boost your college preparation. Here are some easy (it is summer “break” after all!) things you can do now to increase your chances of getting into college.
Volunteer– Get involved in some community service doing something you love. Volunteering doesn’t need to be a bummer and can actually be really fun and fulfilling. Find an organization, group, or cause you are passionate about, and help them out.
Read– Find something to read that is not required for school. Reading increases your vocabulary and gives you material to reference in college applications and interviews. Some college applications ask for a list of book that you have read, and, a typical interview question is “tell me about the last book you read?”
Contact Your Dream School– Many colleges track applicants’ “demonstrated interest”; they want to know if you are truly interested in their school. Introduce yourself, talk about your passion and interest in the school, and ask for more information. One little email can go a long way!
Brainstorm Personal Essay Ideas– Your personal essay will be a critical piece in your college applications, and the best essays are started early. Take a few minutes and write down any personal themes, thoughts, challenges, or accomplishments that you might want to include in your essay.
Visit a College– The first step to creating your college list, is to begin researching colleges. What better way than to step foot onto a college campus! Get out there and visit some colleges; take the tour, explore the campus, and ask questions. You will learn valuable information and can begin exploring what factors will make a college the right fit for you.
Teach Someone Something– Everyone has a skill, talent, or hobby, so why not take the opportunity to teach it to someone else. Your family, friends, and neighbors will be happy to learn a new skill, and this is a great experience in leadership.
Travel– Whether your budget allows for trips to Europe or trips to the next city over, travel experience is fantastic for college. Be creative in thinking about trips; some of the best trips are done by car or bus, and take place within 30-50 miles of where you live. Visit some local landmarks or historical sights, go out to the mountains and camp under the stars. Travel experience exposes you to new things and shows college your curious nature.