The weather here in Southern California is starting to change (as little as it does), and we are beginning to see more days at temps above 70 degrees. Fairmont Prep students are breaking out their shorts but still wearing the sweatshirts because the classrooms here get a little cold. Seniors are deciding where to attend college, and juniors are starting to realize that senior year is right around the corner.
Soon it will be summer — made even more glorious by the fact that students get a few months off from doing homework and preparing for exams. Some Fairmont Prep students will be heading back home for the first time in months to see family and eat one of mom’s famous meals.
The coming of summer often raises the question of what your high school student will be doing over those long summer days. Let us offer a handful of suggestions for what high school students can do over the summer to stay productive. Take a break. It is called summer break for a reason. Students have worked hard all school year and deserve a respite from homework, projects, tests, and the daily grind.
- Spend time with family and friends. Let your student go out and have adventures and make some memories. Parents and students often need to reconnect after the busy school year. Plan a trip together, and go explore together.
- Visit some colleges. Sure, even freshmen can go visit colleges, but it doesn’t need to be a huge thing. Just go to some of the local colleges and universities, even if they aren’t exactly on your list right now. Understand the differences between a small college and a larger research university. See which style feels better to the student, and then you can better focus your college search when it comes time.
- Volunteer somewhere. Find somewhere interesting to volunteer, where, hopefully, the student will make a real contribution rather than simply fetching coffee for people. Hospitals, museums, community centers, senior centers, and parks are only some of the places that are always looking for volunteers. It’s also a great way to knock some of those community service hours required for graduation out of the way.
- Participate in an internship. Get that hands-on experience to see if the path you have been thinking about really does interest you. Again, try to find something meaningful where you are doing real work. Ask your teachers and counselors where students have interned in the past, or be bold and seek out opportunities on your own. Keep in mind that a lot of places won’t hire interns under 16 years of age.
- Get a job. Real work experience is amazing. You get to work with a new group of people and earn some extra spending cash along with it. You don’t have to be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company — just a little hourly job would be perfect. Learn about responsibility and how to work with adults. This will come in handy in college.
- Learn a new skill. Maybe you’ve always wanted to create your own app for the phone or learn how to take better pictures. Well, what better time than the summer? You’ve got the time and the focus to really put in that effort now. Plus, you can amaze your friends with your new ability to yo-yo!
Basically, keep yourself busy. Don’t just waste time watching The Price Is Right and playing video games. Do something, but still be sure to enjoy the warm days of summer. They’ll be over before you know it.