4 months ago
Admissions Advice

I'm a freshman and I am interested in many subjects. What is recommended that I do from here especially with the summer?

I am a freshman and I am interested in many subjects. I have many interests but am unable to choose between them. What is a recommended Summer Program then? Also, as a current freshman, are there are research programs that I can become a part of?

Thank you!

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Accepted Answer
4 months ago

Since you are a Freshmen, I wouldn't recommend overloading your summer schedule. Open a google doc and insert a chart to keep track of deadlines. I did this and it was really helpful. Also, make back-up plans. There will always be a chance you can get rejected, so if there is something you really want on your application (you said research for example) you have back-ups so you can get that on your application. No one gave me this advice and I hate it. There are multiple pathways to your goals, ALWAYS REMEMBER THAT. You really should have posted this earlier since quite a few summer programs have closed their application or are ready to. But we will get into that and how you can remedy it.

So let's take a step back and breathe. Look at yourself now and write down who you think you are, write down anything you've already done, and anything you liked doing. This list doesn't have to include purely academic/ extracurriculars but anything you liked doing. Look at it and try breaking it down even further. What did you like, what did you hate? Did you like it when they were on campus? Did you like it when they included trips? Get specific with your questions (I will include more examples later.) Now you have an outline of what you want. If you have done it right, you now know everything you want in a program. There are so many summer programs that you will find at least one that will fit every need and want you have. I'd also keep a list of things you want in your dream college application nearby because a summer program can help fulfill an aspect of it.

Now we are going to start googling. Have that google doc open and ready so you can quickly type in deadlines. You are just looking for generals here so you have a very long list to filter through later. It's always better to have 100 items than just 20. This is why I think it is great you want to explore. The more you do the easier it will be to build a narrative with your extra-circulars (again, we will get into this later). So now you have a list of stuff that fits your general needs. Now we go deeper. Do they need things like tuition? Do you live close enough to take advantage of it? You have to consider a lot more of the logistics, like how likely it is you will be able to easily attend if accepted? Before we were measuring based on your interests and the general experience it would bring to your profile. But if you are a rural student in Kentucky, don't expect to go to California without saving quite a bit.

Boom. Now you have a list of stuff to do over the course of your high school career. I do recommend trying to follow a few personal projects (such as establishing a club, afterschool program, or etc. Doing this allows you to show initiative, leadership, and maybe a hint of creativity, something that a summer program may not be able to show. You can do it this year, and then have the rest of your high school career to focus on it showing perseverance and determination.

Now we get to building a narrative. This is something you may hear a lot in the way of "take ecs that relate to your major!" This is the basic idea. Establish an idea (I want to be an educator!) and build a narrative. It would go something a bit like this.

"When I was in my Freshmen year of high school, I took a course in Appalachia studies. It made me aware of problems facing the community, as well as how I can improve my community to help others."

This is what mine is like and with this idea, you can do a lot! In this, I've managed to tie in working on Science Olympiad, making an education podcast, writing public policy reforms, and even getting published. Having this will also help you later on when you encounter college essays asking you to expand on your activities.


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