Yes, the best time of year for us students is already on the horizon — summer vacation is coming fast. Of course, being juniors, nothing is easy for us; summer vacation just can’t be quite the same three months of relaxation and fun it used to be. So what am I personally planning on doing? I’ve mentioned a few things that I need to finally get around to doing over the summer, but here is the list in full.
Visiting colleges. Yes, we all know it’s important, and I need to get right on it. And while I can’t venture very far away from the Northeast, where I live, there are a fair number of colleges nearby that I’m very interested in. My plan is to spend a weekend in each of the major cities around here, looking at colleges and just getting a feel for life in that area. One weekend in Philadelphia, one in Boston, one in New York City, and so on. That will get me some good visits with many of the places I’m looking at. And plus, there’s nothing wrong with travel — going out of town for a few weekends will be enjoyable in itself.
Volunteering. If there is one area I should think about shoring up, I would have to say community service. Certainly I’m eager to give back to the community I’ve been a part of for all of these years, but unfortunately time has been the biggest limiting factor in the past school year. So what better season to catch up than over the summer? Already I’ve found a few promising service opportunities, ones that will be valuable and fulfilling experiences.
Those pesky college applications . . . Yes, it’s time to start thinking about those. I’ve already begun looking at the application process for my preferred colleges, but right around August is the time when I plan to start putting serious work into the applications. By then I’ll have hopefully visited many of them and decided which ones are right for me, so it’s better to get a start before school starts up again (a scary thought, that). Application essay writing, in particular, requires quite a bit of thought in order to get just the right tone, the right feel, the right image of who you are, all wrapped up in those few thousand words. So if I can at lease have some sort of plan on what I will write for each prompt, then I’ll be saving myself a lot of trouble down the road.
And on the side, a little leisure. Reading, practicing trumpet, gaming, and what have you. Work might be there, but summer is still summer; we’d be wrong if we didn’t spend at least a little extra time relaxing. Not overly much — after all, college is key to most of our foreseeable future — but a little extra time to take a break. After the hectic school year, we all deserve it.