The Best Way for Students to Spend a Summer

Puget Sound students spend time on the Mississippi River for research

Summer: It’s almost here! Students often ask me, “What’s the best thing to do this summer … for my college application?”

My advice? “Do something fun and challenging that YOU will enjoy.”

Now, that “something” could be a summer program or a summer job or summer travel with your family. If you’re going to write about your experiences, college reps would rather read about on that you found fulfilling instead of reading about a summer experience done primarily to “check a box” for college admission.

There’s no one right way to spend your summer break, but whatever you do I recommend finding time to read as well. Reading broadly helps prepare you not only for standardized admission tests but, more importantly, it helps you to see connections, better understand the context of your schoolwork, and, perhaps, just gives your mind something different to think about. Challenge yourself by reading something outside your favorite genre. (Currently, I’m reading a dystopic novel set in the future U.S. It’s not my typical genre, but it is making me think about a lot of great topics.)

Get some sleep. Enjoy your friends and family. Use your sunscreen. Read. Have a great summer!