2 months ago
Admissions Advice

Summer between Middle School and High School Freshman year

A lot of the posts here have some really good insights and general direction on building a pathway to college admissions but most of those actions are applicable for folks who are already in high school.

I was wondering, what is a good thing to focus on in the summer between middle school and freshman year that can really move the needle on college admissions. Here's a few things I was thinking of but not really sure which to focus on:

- Workout exercise and improve my swim times

- Do HS Geometry course so I can skip Geo in Freshman and go straight to Alg-II.

- Internship? Is there any available for middle-schoolers?

- Other college courses. I know some univs run summer sessions for college exposure. Are these worth it?

- Programming project in AI/ML space

- Some exposure to leadership opportunities - not sure what options are really available for me.

- Volunteer hours?

Any other suggestions, welcome :)


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2 answers

Accepted Answer
2 months ago

Hi! Since you're in the summer before freshman year, I'd recommend spending this time exploring different things to try and figure out what you like and what you could pursue more deeply later on so that you can start to discover your passions (and eventually build your spike/theme around that) as early as possible.

Take online courses (EdX/Coursera/lectures on YouTube) to figure out what you're most interested in academically --> figure out ways to pursue that subject outside the classroom and try to maximize your course rigor inside the classroom. (e.g. if you found a Biology EdX course really interesting, you could join a STEM club or start looking for research opportunities in Biology as soon as freshman year)

Try out different extra-curriculars, hobbies, etc. to start discovering your non-academic passions. This might be art, music, sports, languages, something random like competitive typing or completing giant puzzles, or whatever else you find that you really enjoy doing. Then, you can figure out whether there are clubs, organizations, or independent ways to pursue those things and get really good at them.

Lastly, you might want to look for opportunities to volunteer doing something you really enjoy, working for a cause you really care about, or preferably both! Hopefully, you can find something that really works for you and that you can commit to all throughout high school (though don't feel pressured to keep doing it if circumstances change and it's ever suddenly not the right fit anymore).

Besides the extra-curricular stuff, I think your plan to do advanced coursework is great and will definitely contribute to your college application, so I absolutely agree with that as long as it's not terrible for your mental health or way too difficult for you to really succeed in (i.e. if you think you might get a C by taking the class this early, maybe hold off and develop your math skills first).

Just try a bunch of different things, make a list of everything you tried, and mark which things you loved the most and want to pursue further going forward. You don't have to stick with your initial picks for all of high school, but having just a little more direction and understanding of yourself and what you like at the start of high school will put you ahead of the college application process already.

One final note: Keep a log of everything you do or accomplish that you is really meaningful to you, is cool or interesting, or makes an impact. This will make it a lot easier for you to remember and pick out the most important activities and honors/awards once you get to junior or senior year and start preparing your college application itself.

Hope this helped!

2 months ago

These are all great ideas you can do. Really anything that you learn from, or have a leadership position, or work or intern in a field you like and maybe want to go into can only be good for a college application. For leadership, you could join the boy/girl scouts, or just google something in your area to see what there is.


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