What can I do over the summer to put on my application?
I am a current sophomore with no plans for the summer. I looking for affordable and productive things to do, but I'm not sure how to start looking. I'm not too interested in STEM heavy subjects, I'm more humanities inclined, though I did do a "Leadership Intern" thing at Camp Invention last year (basically a camp counselor) that I found last minute through a friend, and I had lots of fun and got 40 volunteer hours for :). Maybe something like that?
I'm willing to volunteer, do internships, get a job, pursue personal projects (I like writing essays so I'm thinking about starting a blog), or attend free/cheap programs; any tips on how to find good ones and how to get them? I know I should value my passion for the topic over how it'll look on my application, but I'd like to do something that I enjoy doing and are impressive. Thanks!
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It definitely is overwhelming to start looking when there are so many options! I'd first start by figuring out your priorities in a summer experience - Do you want to develop an interest or skill? Is making money important? Getting volunteering hours? Going somewhere totally new? Listing out your priorities will help you decide where to start looking.
From the perspective of college apps, it's always helpful to further develop any interests or talents you want to highlight on your applications. This strengthens your Applications Theme, or the overarching narrative of your application (more about that here: https://blog.collegevine.com/what-is-an-application-theme/). You mentioned that you like to write essays, and if your writing is something you want to emphasize, then starting a blog could definitely be a good idea. Personal projects are underrated - admissions officers love them since they're generally more authentic, and they're also something you can make as impressive as you want, depending on the effort and strategy you put in. That said, personal projects are only impressive if you can accomplish something deep and tangible. For a blog, that might mean getting a certain number of reads/views or followers, or writing something that gets reshared in a major publication. If you want more info about self-driven projects, this CollegeVine article has a great section on them: https://blog.collegevine.com/how-to-improve-your-extracurriculars-junior-and-senior-year/ (just CTRL+F "self-driven projects" for the relevant section).
As for summer programs and internships, CollegeVine also has tons of articles on tips for finding them. For summer programs in particular, there are posts focusing specifically on opportunities in each state: https://blog.collegevine.com/category/extracurricular-activities/summer-activities/ (there should be at least a few free options in each post). For internships, there are also many articles on how to find and apply to relevant positions: https://blog.collegevine.com/extracurricular-activities/internships/ (it's probably most common to go through personal connections).
I hope this helps! Feel free to follow up with more questions or any specifications. Good luck :)
There are many volunteer options you can choose from! There are probably some companies or programs around you who are looking for volunteers, but there are also abroad programs you can look at too. They can get fairly expensive but I have done three and they are definitely worth the cost. There are also financial aid programs through the abroad organizations that can cover sometimes up to 60% of the cost. Here is the link to one of the cheapest programs I know. https://www.globalcrossroad.com/
Here are some things you could do:
1) Absolutely start a blog. Try and make it about something you love, and of course have fun with it.
2) Attend Community College classes. I've taken quite a few (they cost around $100 per unit), so they are a good use of your time. You can pursue subjects not readily available in high schools such as Sociology, History of Religion in the Eastern World, Humanities, and Creative Writing.
Of course there are other things to do... this is just my take.
try getting a job especially if you are over 16
also just try visiting nearby colleges to see if any interest you just to build a relationship with them
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