So, you’re almost done with another school year. Congratulations! We’re sure it was nothing but hard work and determination that has gotten you here. Naturally, the first inclination is to throw your books in the air and not think about school again until late August. That, however, may not be the most prudent move. Yes, you absolutely deserve a break, but there is some truth to the old expression “if you don’t use it, you lose it.” Though your brain is not a muscle, studies show that in many ways it works just like one. Meaning, that just like a muscle, if not given exercise, it will get weaker. So turning your brain off for the next few months and switching it back on the first day of school may not be the best course of action. You don’t want to fall behind at the start of the next school year, so here are some ways to stay intellectually productive over the summer.
1. Become a Campus Leader
One great way to keep that brain busy, enhance your resume, and improve your school at the same time, would be to start a club. Those of you in the process of readying for college are well aware that your extracurricular activities go a long way in getting into the school of your dreams. Taking a leadership role with them will only make you look like that much more impressive as an applicant. So spending your summer laying the groundwork for a new club at school may be a good way to go. Where do you start? Well, when determining what kind of book to write, many authors go with the adage “write the book that you would want to read” – I would apply that here as well. Start the club you would want to join. Chances are you have many peers with a similar interest that would want to join, too. Evaluate which clubs your school already has to offer and figure out exactly what this new club should be. While there is still time left in the school year, let a counselor know of your plan, and I’m sure he/she can help you with the first steps necessary to start piecing the club together during the summer.
2. Become the Next Zuckerberg
Not too far off from the club idea (but more profitable) would be the idea of starting your own business. Not only will this keep you busy and help you to think and act with finance in mind, but it can also double as your summer job. It sounds like a daunting idea, but it’s really much simpler than it may seem. The entrepreneurial spirit probably lives within you already; sometimes it just takes a little effort to draw it out. Similar to the club idea, stick to what you know/love and figure out how to monetize it. Don’t worry about the idea failing; focus on getting the practice and experience of starting your own business (another big college resume booster). From Mark Zuckerberg with Facebook to Matt Mullenweg with WordPress, to Romero Bryan and his clothing line, the examples go on and on of young people creating wildly successful businesses. To make this a little more digestible and show that any idea can grow legs and turn into a successful business, take the story of Farrah Gray. “When he was 10 Gray formed a club that raised $15,000 for financing a lemonade stand, by 12 he had started a venture capital firm that raised $1 million from investors to help teenagers start their own business. Before he was 16 he had started business ventures that include pre-paid phone cards, One Stop Mailboxes & More franchises and The Teenscope ‘Youth AM/FM’ interactive talk show. He became executive producer of a comedy show on the Las Vegas Strip, and was the owner of a food company that had orders exceeding $1.5 million.” Gray is now a best selling author, and this all started with lemonade (he isn’t even 30 years old yet).
3. Go On a Voluntourism Adventure
Another example of how to make the most of your summer and still stay productive is to travel and give back. There are few endeavors that will change your perspective on life/the world like traveling, and there is no greater reward than giving back to those in need. A vacation is always nice, but improving the lives of others while traveling to a foreign country is about as good as it gets. As you all know, a devastating earthquake recently has crippled Nepal beyond belief. They need help, and will continue to need help for quite some time. Donations are great but there are also many programs that will take you out there to help with the rebuilding efforts. For example, Volunteering Solutions has summer programs available to volunteer at the local orphanages or to teach English to children at local Nepalese public and private schools. Tourism is a major industry in Nepal, and for many of these children, learning English will help them secure a good job when they’re old enough. Obviously, not everyone will be able to make such a trip, but do some research, for there are people in need much closer than you think. Dedicate a summer to helping them out.
4. Enroll in an Enriching L.A. Summer Program
Finally, we here at Rainbow Tutoring have more than enough workshops and events to fill up your summer with all the academic productivity, self-transformation, and game changing insights you’ll need. For 10th graders through high school seniors we are bringing back our most popular workshop ‘Paving the Way to the College of Your Dreams.’ While the full-length program, running from July 14th to August 20th, is almost fully enrolled, we’ve opened up a series of intensive one-week workshops to give prospective college students a holistic, meaningful and multifaceted foundation and compelling edge for making impactful decisions that will inform their high school endeavors, personal choices, and college admissions trajectory. The full-length program is a 6-week workshop that meets twice a week on-campus at UCLA (more information here), and the intensives are held Monday through Friday for one week each at UCLA (more information here). Spaces are limited.
Need to get your creative juices flowing this summer? Enroll in our Ivy League Poetry Workshop, which is open to all. With this program, held on three dates in June, we explore different styles of poetry and create work that will expand the scope and impact of your writing. What makes our poetry workshop unlike any other is the focus on personal voice, lyricism, and relevant forms of poetry spanning the works of hip hop artists such as Kendrick Lamar and young American poets like Sarah Kay. At the end of this workshop, you will come away with work suitable for use in college and private school admissions. Our biggest aim is to make you a stronger and more confident writer (more information here).
Starting a new club at your high school, creating your own business, traveling abroad and giving back, and taking a summer course with Rainbow Tutoring are all very rewarding ways to spend your summer as well as keep your brain active. However, it is important to do what works best for you with the idea of not stagnating all the progress you made during the school year during the summer months. Share some ideas with us of how you plan to be productive this summer in the comments section, below, or on our Facebook page.