8 Great Summer Activities to Boost Your College Resume

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You’ve worked hard all year and summer is the perfect time to wind down and indulge in some well-deserved “me” time. It’s also a great time to further develop yourself and commit to your goals. If college is on your mind, showing your dedication to personal growth and development can help set you apart from the pack—it may even bring in a scholarship or two.

We’re not saying you should ignore the call of beach and barbecues, but here are eight summer activities to boost your college resume.

1. Work It

Work experience reads well on college applications and shows you are a responsible person. In addition to earning some cash, when you maintain a job, even a part-time job, you demonstrate understanding of time management, teamwork, listening skills, and initiative. This article from ThoughtCo points out, “Experiences at work can provide excellent material for your college application essay, and if you’ve maintained a strong academic record, colleges will be impressed by the discipline required to balance work and school.”  

2. Fuel Your Entrepreneurial Spirit

Distinguish yourself from other applicants by investing in your own entrepreneurial dreams. Today’s business world is bustling with fresh attitudes and innovative ideas. By flexing your entrepreneurial muscle, colleges will know you are ready to bring innovation, dedication, and determination to their campuses. Check out these 13 teen business ideas to get your gears grinding.

3. Pursue Your Passion

Do you enjoy singing? Have you been thinking about learning guitar? College resumes do not simply revolve around courses and grades. Summer is a perfect time to explore something that intrigues you. Colleges are looking for multi-dimensional students who pursue a passion outside of school, and hobbies add your uniqueness to a college resume—and it may even help you find your future career.

  1.  Continue Your Education with an Online Course

Continuing your education during summer often means getting a head start to graduation and improving your GPA. There are tons of online courses to choose from that go far beyond an average curriculum, especially at institutions known for innovation like Arizona State University. Arguably one of the best parts of an online course is you don’t have to wake up at a certain time to attend!  

5. Pack Your Bags and Travel

While recreational travel is personally rewarding, colleges appreciate journeys that exhibit commitment, curiosity, and/or productivity. Go explore a new culture or geographical area. If you have the opportunity to study abroad, take it—this kind of experience boosts your college resume, and you’ll stand out significantly.   

6. Study a Second Language

Did you know there are almost 7,000 languages spoken across the world? With the nearly endless resources available through apps and tutoring programs, learning another language is just a matter of commitment. Not only does a second (or third) language add something special to your college resume, learning a language also stimulates the brain and increases overall intelligence. While you’re at it, take a concurrent enrollment language course with ASU Prep Digital to satisfy college prerequisites.

7.  Break Out of the Familiar

Like your favorite pair of jeans, routines are familiar and comfortable. Your teenage years are a time to explore. The more conversations you have with people who maintain a different point of view, the further you expand your own worldview. Find ways to venture outside your usual social circles and stretch yourself to meet new people. Who knows? The people you meet can help set the stage for a compelling and deeply personal college essay.

8.  Find Opportunities to Do Good

Whether you are volunteering with a nonprofit or helping to tutor on a subject you’re strong in, colleges place a high value on giving back. Yale recently added an essay question on their college admissions application asking students to “reflect on engagement with and contribution to their family, community, and/or the public good,” to assess the goodwill students will add to their community. While a great GPA and extracurricular activities enhance a college resume, personal examples of community outreach make you shine bright.

What personal growth activity would you like to try this summer to add to your college resume?