Summer Fun: What Colleges Like to See

Sure you didn't stop world hunger or end global warming, but that family trip might be worth mentioning to the College Admission Officers. What about that job or when you went to work with your folks or a family friend? Chances are, that aside from your killer tan, you have worked on a few things that show your ambition and dedication- that's what counts!

What you do with your free time can be a great show and tell for your college resume and maybe even a great essay topic- so let's think about this. What really impresses the colleges is that you make great choices that may expand your horizons, show responsibility, build creativity or help others.

Here are a few things that colleges like to see:

Job experience: Such as babysitting, tutoring, mowing lawns, and youth work programs sponsored by the government, city or county. Maybe you worked in a family business or within your community- think about what your summer job taught you about responsibility, working with others and self-motivation. Did you pick up any skills that might benefit you in college or a future career?

Job shadowing: Did you go to work with somebody and watch them on the job? It is really helpful if you were in an industry that involves a major you have in mind!

Summer programs: Did you attend any academic enrichment programs on college campuses with or without college credit as an additional benefit. Many of these programs, also known as “pre-college” programs are specific to an interest area such as engineering, technology, nursing, and visual or performing arts. Did you go to any athletic camps or a religious camp? Bonus if you were a student leader for younger campers!

Community service: Did you help out the neighborhood, tutor at a local school, spend time at a retirement center, volunteer at a hospital? College admission officers are interested in seeing how you have helped others; it shows maturity, initiative, a strong work ethic, and even creativity.

Traveling: is a great way to spend your summer and learn. If you’re lucky enough to do some extensive summer traveling make sure you journal your activities and who you meet along the way. Take lots of pictures as well, it helps jog your memory. Adventures such as these could make great topics for a college essay!

Good news our friends: It's not too late! Start thinking about how you are going to show off your responsible, ambitious, adventurous self. Use your free time to invest in your future!

Our advice: write a draft of your ideal college resume, use that as a guide to plan your activities, go accomplish your goals and become your ideal college's dream applicant!

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