Volunteer

Getting out and helping your community is a great way to show admissions committees you’re a well rounded person who thinks about others. Start by reaching out to local organizations in areas that might interest you, or would dovetail well with your current major.

Job shadow or work

The long, lazy days of summer are perfect for setting up opportunities to job shadow, especially if you have a specific career you’re interested in. Spending time on the job with someone who works in the field you’re considering is a great way to demonstrate your interest in your future, as well as figure out if it’s actually what you want to do.

Similarly, holding a part-time job is a great way to show admissions offices you’re capable of managing the responsibilities that come with attending college. It also looks great on your resume post graduation, as you’re showing you have a strong work ethic, which employers like to see.

Learn a new skill

Is there something that’s always intrigued you, but you haven’t had the time to devote to it? If so, summer is the perfect time to try out new things, and pick up a few new skills. You could look into website design, pen that novel you’ve always wanted to write, get CPR or first aid certified, or a myriad of other things. Whatever it is you’ve wanted to do, now’s the time to give it a try.

Make a budget

Attending university is expensive, so thinking ahead about how you’re going to pay for it is critical. Therefore, you might want to consider learning how to manage your finances over the summer. This is great for both students who are considering going to college, as well as those currently enrolled. Financial literacy is an important thing to have, so summer is the perfect time to create, manage, and work with a budget.

Exercise

If you feel as though your health is something you’ve been putting on the back burner, summer is a great time to dust off your jogging shoes and start working on your fitness. Schedule regular times to take a run, work with a trainer, or hit the yoga mat for some self care and to rebuild your stamina for the year ahead.

Take a class

If you’re a high school student, summer is the ideal time to take some courses at your local college. This will give you the idea of what you might like to major in, as well as help prepare you for the rigors of a university class. For students in university, this is a good time to try a class you didn’t have time for, or to make up any courses you might’ve dropped, or not done as well on during the academic year. It’s also a great way to get ahead if you’d like to graduate early.

Study for exams

For students planning to enter university, there are tests like the SAT or ACT to study for, and summer is the ideal time to do so. Set yourself a regular study schedule or connect with a tutor to help you stay on track. University students planning to apply to graduate school or professional school can also use these three months to get themselves ready for entrance exams.

Clean up social media

Social media often shows things we wouldn’t exactly want an admissions counselor or job recruiter looking at. Therefore, summer is the perfect time to carefully comb through your social media accounts, untag yourself from posts and photos that might be less than ideal, as well as manage your privacy settings. Take this opportunity to consider your personal brand, and what you’re putting out there on social media.

Plan college visits

Finally, for those planning to attend university, summer is a great time to visit. While you most likely won’t see a lot of classes in action, you will have the chance for more one-on-one time with admissions counselors and tour guides, as well as get to see more of the campus with less people. Additionally, you’ll be able to check out the local towns and cities to see if it’s the right place for you to spend the next four years.

And have fun!

University and high school are both hard work, so remember to give yourself the opportunity to rest and reboot over the summer. Make your plans wisely, but don’t overschedule or overstretch yourself. Plan plenty of time to have fun -- enjoy hobbies, see friends and family, and perhaps travel -- so you can enter the next chapter of your education rested and refreshed.