Are You Having a College-Focused Summer?

Okay, so its summer and what you really want to be doing is just relaxing, spending some time at the beach and hanging out with friends. In today’s competitive world most of your peers will being doing something academic or otherwise productive over the summer – the most competitive will get an Orange County private college consultant. Gone are the days when the school year ended at 9 months and rest and relaxation was the reality for summer time. Colleges (READ: “5 Things to do Before You Go Away to College“) want to see who did something productive with their summer and who didn’t. It could mean the difference between staying in the ‘maybe’ pile and being moved into the ‘yes’ pile when it comes to acceptance letters. So what should you do with July and August 2014 to help you get in to the college of your choice in 2016?


1. An Honest Day’s Work

Many students don’t necessarily need to earn money over the summer but the ability to stick through 2 months of serving coffee at 6 AM to grumpy customers or dishing out frozen yogurt when all of your friends are at the movies demonstrates an ability to stick with something unpleasant. By having a part time job over the summer you are showing colleges that you can offer the following:

A – A good work ethic = a good study ethic

B – Dealing with the general public = communicating effectively with peers and professors of all personality types

C – Saving money = maturity and understanding the value of a dollar

D – A recommendation from your boss = proof of your good character

2. Volunteer

I don’t mean getting your required volunteer hours for graduation; I mean something extra, something that shows how committed you are to a certain cause. Sticking with one cause over 2 or 3 years looks better than volunteering a day here and a day there to get the required graduation hours (READ: “How to Make Extracurricular Activities Extra Significant“). Your volunteer work should match up with your passions. If you are planning to be a veterinarian, volunteer at the local animal shelter. If you want to go into teaching, volunteer at the YMCA.

3. Go the extra mile with academics

If your English grades are lacking, colleges will want to know why you didn’t do something about it during the summer. If math is getting tough, now is the time to work on it. Get a private tutor to work on that one tough subject that is holding you back. Turn that B into an A and get ahead of the game for the fall. Taking the SAT in October (READ: “8 SAT Essay Tips“)? Use the summer to raise that score.


Work, volunteering and summer academics are the top 3 things that you can do to help yourself ‘look good’ on college applications but there is a lot more to it than that. A part time job really will help you understand the value of a dollar, and with minimum wage being around $8 an hour in California, it will also encourage good study habits to graduate college and get that high paying job that you are seeking.

Volunteering will help you understand the community you live in and encourage you to be a kinder, more empathetic person – especially if you continue to volunteer in college. The value of academics should be obvious but, if they aren’t, think about how much better you will do in college if you learn excellent study habits now. Look through your final grades from last year and scan for anything less than an A in English, math, science or humanities. (If you got a B in Physical Education, a tutor probably won’t be able to help with that.) A tutor can help you with any core or elective academic subject and help you be that star student you always wanted to be, or the star student that you need to be.

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