School is out (for most)… and summer is in (almost)! Summer is not only a convenient time for high schoolers to rest, recharge, and reset, but it’s also the perfect time to get a head start on college prep. Here are five Admit U college counselor-approved activities that high schoolers can incorporate into their summer season to enhance their college applications.


1. Seniors! Start your college application materials early

Procrastination, be gone! Between the Common App, personal essay, and standardized testing, college applications are a lot of work. As a result, many students put them off until the last minute. Instead, take the extra time to work on college application materials over the summer. Completing these tasks will help you approach the busy fall without feeling anxious, rushed, or overwhelmed.


2. Foster your hobbies and extracurricular activities

Don’t spend the entire summer playing video games or scrolling through Instagram! It’s crucial to participate in extracurricular activities as well. Whether you like to play sports, a musical instrument, or want to explore business beyond what you learned in Marketing class, make sure you are keeping busy. Who knows, these hobbies and interests could open doors to scholarship opportunities. Are you interested in health and fitness? Do you juggle or play marbles? Did you code your own app? These unique interests could help you stand out.


3. Volunteer and give back to your community

Volunteering is a wonderful way to improve your community! In addition to helping others, volunteering is a unique way to make friends, learn new skills, and gain a different perspective on life. Whether you decide to volunteer at a food pantry or your local community garden, choose an organization that is meaningful to you and aligns with your values.


4. Work a summer job

Money always comes in handy during college, and what better time to build your savings than summer? While it can be time-consuming to work a part-time job during the school year, summer is an excellent time to build your professional skills because there is more time to focus on work (and not homework). Popular summer jobs for high schoolers include babysitting, lifeguarding, and working in the retail or food service industry. Summer jobs are a fantastic way to stay busy, build hard and soft skills, and earn money. Not to mention, accountability, responsibility, and teamwork are all excellent skills to bring to a campus community.


5. Travel and explore

One of the best ways to get out of your comfort zone and take risks is through travel. Don’t be afraid to take a trip or experience something new. Travel forces us to see different perspectives and experiences than what we’re used to in our hometowns. If you want a more immersive travel experience, consider signing up for enriching summer study abroad and pre-college programs such as Summer Discovery, West Coast Connection, or TeenLife. These programs are an excellent way to turn your travel into an exhilarating, structured, hands-on learning opportunity.


By implementing these tips, you’ll be on your way to a productive summer well-spent. To speak with a college counselor about more ways you can tailor your summer schedule to prepare for college and beyond, contact us here.