This is the time of year when we start receiving emails and phone calls from high school juniors asking what they could be doing to prepare for the college admission process. Well, apart from remembering to continue to take a challenging curriculum during your senior year and preparing for any standardized testing, many students choose to spend the summer prior to their senior year preparing for college.
First and foremost, summer is a time for you to rest and relax! You work hard all year – as do we 🙂 – and you deserve to take a breath for a minute and relax. However, the summer can also be the perfect time for you to seek out new experiences! Many families use their summer vacations to tour prospective colleges. As you begin to reflect on what you may be searching for in your college experience, you will likely begin to dwindle down your list of prospective colleges and, if possible, take some of your time off during the summer to tour the colleges. We’ve said before and we’ll continue to say, that there’s no better way to gain an understanding of the culture of an institution until you step foot on campus. In addition to a regular campus tour, this might be a good time to register for on-campus interviews if they are offered at the colleges you’ll be visiting. For example, Harvey Mudd begins offering on-campus interviews in June 2016.
Other students choose to attend summer programs such as Operation Catapult at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology or COSMOS (for California residents). There are a multitude of summer residential and non-residential programs available for high school students to attend. Here is a list of just a select few of the summer STEM programs that are available.
Lastly, some students choose to conduct research or hold internships over the summer before their senior year in high school to gain a better idea of type of work their chosen majors may entail. Students are often able to find these internships or research assistantships through family friends, local hospitals or local colleges/universities.
Obviously for some students, scheduling conflicts such as sports/music training camps, family vacations, summer school, etc will prevent them from taking part in one of the summer activities listed above and that’s okay too! Additionally, many students choose to hold summer jobs to save for college, extra spending money, or helping out at home! Ultimately , we know that the summer before your senior year is bound to be inundated with appointments taking up your time and all we ask if that you find something that you enjoy and seek it out!