How to Spend Your Summer Productively

I know what you’re thinking. Summer planning? Already? Right now, you’re doing this.


But soon you’ll be doing this…


…and wondering where all of the time went.

Deadlines for many summer programs and camps are coming right up. You better get on that!

As tempting as it might be to sit around all summer and do nothing but watch Netflix and hang out with friends, don’t! Get involved. Do something important and interesting. Not only will you have a potentially life-changing experience, you’ll also have something cool to write about for college applications.

You’ll want a lot of options. Do plenty of research and apply at plenty of places. Don’t only apply for one job or internship and be left without any summer plans when you don’t get it. Have back-up choices!

Top Eight Best Ways To Spend Your Productive Summer

1. Internship

Even if internships aren’t paid (which they likely won’t be), you still get great experience at a place where you might like to work one day. Or even if it’s a place where you don’t see yourself working, at least you’ve knocked one potential job off the list. And you’ve learned what it’s like in a professional environment. No matter what, an internship is a good thing to add to your resume when you’re looking for work later on.

2. Job

The main pro of having a summer job?

giphy (3)

Extra cash! That swimsuit you’ve been wanting for months can now be yours!

But seriously, jobs are another great thing to add to your resume, no matter what they are. Hey, working at a fast food place is better than nothing.

You’ll also learn a lot about customer service and just human beings in general. You’ll definitely start to see cashiers and salespeople in a whole different way.

3. Sports training or camp

Summer is the perfect time to focus on staying fit. If you practice a sport, you’ll have an advantage over the other players when the school year begins. Whether you want to go to a camp and be in a more social environment or just privately train with a coach or a few other athletes fairly frequently, do what works best for you.

4. College applications or SAT prep

This is an SAT blog after all. Take advantage of the homework-free time to do all that other important school-related stuff. Trust me, it’s better to do it during the summer than to do it later when you also have two tests and an essay due.

5. Debate, science, writing, (insert interest here) camp

They basically have camps for everything now. Do whatever it is that you love to do. Meet people who share your interests. With additional exploration into a specific field of study, you might even find your college major. You never know!

6. Summer programs at colleges

Many colleges have academic summer programs for high school students. You live in the dorms, go to classes on campus and explore the city during free time. It’s a great way to really get to know a school that you are considering applying to.

I attended a program at Columbia University a few years ago and it was one of the best experiences of my life. My class was fascinating and I met awesome people from all around the world. For three weeks, I got to spend time on the beautiful campus and explore New York City.

These programs tend to be kind of expensive and they require an application process, so definitely consider all of your options and decide if it’s worth it for you.

7. A course at a community college

Taking a course or two at your local community college will allow you to keep your academics strong over the summer. By learning college level material, you will have an advantage when school starts again.

You can also take a course in a skill you’ve always wanted to learn, such as Photoshop or pottery. The possibilities are endless!

8. Community service

You can go on a service trip to another country or you can do something locally. Whatever you do, just try to help someone out. Devote your extra free time to helping the community.


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  • Nadira Berman

    As a Summer Marketing Intern, Nadira is excited to help high schoolers prepare for the SAT and ACT. As a freshman at the University of Pennsylvania, she is considering studying economics. In her free time, she reports for the school newspaper and styles photo shoots for the school's fashion magazine. Besides fashion and journalism, her passions include bagels, smoothies and Netflix.

By the way, Magoosh can help you study for both the SAT and ACT exams. Click here to learn more!

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