Summer Before Senior Year: 3 Must-Do Action Items

Congrats for getting through your junior year of high school! You've earned a well deserved break.

It may be tempting to ignore anything school related, but summer is the perfect time to plan ahead without the added stress of schoolwork. Think about how nice it will feel to start senior year without any dread or confusion—instead, feeling prepared and organized, with enough time to get work done and enjoy your last year of high school!

One of the best ways to have a strong start to senior year is to balancing fun and relaxation during the summer.  Be prepared with the follow action steps:

1. Experiential learning. Take the time this summer to gain experience in something that you love to do. Try an internship that interests you, a leadership retreat, or volunteering for a cause that you're passionate about. Experiential learning means learning from meaningful experiences which can be just as important—if not more so—than what you learn from a textbook. 

2. Take on a creative project. Summer is the perfect time to create something...anything that interests you. What do you love to do and why? Code a video game. Make a movie with your friends. Write a short story. Paint a mural. Draw a still-life. Create an organization system for your closet. Put together a photo book of you and your friends. Just think of a fun idea that you want to do and put it in motion. Let go of judgment of the idea—see what happens when you just do it for the sake of doing it and enjoy the process.

3. Prepare your college application action plan. Are you familiar with the Labor Day Divide? College preparation experts have noted that high school seniors who have completed the majority of their Summer College Prep Checklist by Labor Day (Sept. 5th, 2016) are by far more likely to enjoy a stress-free experience and avoid the frantic scramble to get application tasks done on time.

Take time early this summer to make your timeline for the college application process. Make time to research resources that may be able to help you check off all the items on your Summer College Prep Checklist. Look for programs like Teen Launch's Carve Your Own Path Summer College Prep Program to help you kick off senior year with the majority of your application completed.

If you implement these 3 action items into your summer, not only will you start off senior year feeling more prepared and excited, but you'll have a much more fulfilling summer that you ever thought was possible!