Not joining programs, working, or volunteering around my community during my high school summers is one of the things I regret the most. It is important from the beginning of our high school years to solidify our interest in college. If you know your grades are not the best, you should volunteer or work to show leadership and initiative. I know it sounds like you are compensating for the lack of grades. However, it is also an essential skill that colleges pay close attention to. See the summer as an opportunity to expand your views, intellectual, distraction, and a gateway to socializing. The summer after my junior year I worked as a student worker at LADWP. I worked full time just as a regular employee and I have to admit that it gave me a real insight to the working life. It was tiring but I learned so much about my city’s department of water and power. I also learned that it was a job I was not interested in the future, but I was grateful to have been part of this experience. Nevertheless, that was it! That’s the only summer I did something. My other three summers I did not volunteer, joined programs, or worked. Two months out of school goes by so fast and it is time you will never recover if you stay in bed. I understand that we all need a break after rigorous months in school; however, our lives are more than just school. We can show our abilities by volunteering in our passions. Our interests and passions could be anything from volunteering at an animal shelter to volunteering at your local councilmember office. If you do not know what your interest is, then do not see it as an obstacle but as a limitless opportunity to explore a wider pool of careers.
Search for summer programs. Go to your counselor’s office or college adviser to ask about programs being offered to students in your high school. I guarantee you they will have a list of resources and they will be more than happy to share them with you. I was a very shy and timid student in high school harming my potential to expand beyond my classroom. Search online for those programs in your area or out of state. In many instances summer programs out of your state cover all your expenses to fly you to the program’s state. There are college prep programs, language immersion, medical, and political related programs you could be part of. I am not going to deny that the application process can always be dreading, however once you start getting everything together and submit it, you will feel accomplished.
So what are you waiting for?! Summer is coming, start searching for those programs, volunteering opportunities, or jobs early because just like you there are many students who want to enhance their chances to be accepted to college. It is not a race but a continuous walk to our aspirations.