How to Plan a Summer that Looks Great on Paper, in 3 Easy Steps

middle school enrichement

You know what you’ve got to do during the school year: challenge yourself with a rigorous academic schedule, study hard, get good grades, and, of course, find time for your extracurricular activities. But when school’s out for the summer, what’s the best use of your time? It’s no secret that admissions counselors look at your summer activities when deciding your fate, so it’s important not to totally put your feet up. Here’s a quick guide for planning a summer that looks great on paper (or more specifically, college applications!) in three easy steps.

(Before we dive in, there is one thing that’s important to note. While some teens are able to devote their entire summer to things like passion projects, college courses, volunteering, unpaid internships, and so on, many students will be taking on full time jobs out of necessity. If this is your situation, do not mistakenly think you aren’t doing something amazing for your college app! Whether you’re working as a cashier, a waitress, or a summer nanny, you’re highlighting your work ethic, dependability, and responsibility. Admissions counselors have a great respect for students who do what they need to do, and a 9-to-5 summer job is a major asset on an application, regardless of the industry.)


Step 1: Outline your academic and professional goals.

What are you going to pursue in college and beyond? Keep your future plans in mind as you start to make a plan for your summer, because these should guide the sorts of activities you pursue. As you fill out your college applications, you’ll be able to show admissions counselors that you’re serious about your academic and professional goals when you tell them you’ve already spent your summers working toward them!


Step 2: Pursue enriching activities that push you toward these goals, or complement these goals.

Hoping to become a journalism major? Getting a summer job with the local paper will give you real-world experience and show schools that your interest is genuine. Planning to study political science? Getting involved in a political campaign might be the ticket. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box if you can’t work in the exact field you’re interested in. For example, if your ultimate dream is to become a pediatrician, even something like volunteering in your church’s daycare once a week can illustrate your heart for helping children.

Additionally, keep in mind that you can always forge your own summer path. Start a blog where you share your writing and interview people who inspire you. Design an app to make something in your daily life easier. Plan a fundraiser for a cause you believe in. You may end up writing a brilliant essay about one of these passion projects, and schools will be impressed by your initiative and inventiveness.

As much as possible, try to choose opportunities and activities that lend themselves to your chosen field of study ­– this transforms your college application from, “I think I want to study this,” to, “I know I want to study this, and here is exactly why.”


Step 3: Dedicate a good portion of your summer to these activities.

Admissions counselors know that your free time in the summer is precious, so dedicating it to meaningful work says a lot. Volunteering for a couple hours once a month isn’t going to cut it, nor will interning for two days a week. Admissions counselors are impressed with applicants who devote a lot of time to the activity they’ve chosen, whatever that is. That may mean you should do a few different things! Use your best judgment to decide if you’re only giving half effort, because college counselors will certainly take note.


Include the Enrichery in Your Summer Plans

Planning a productive summer? Pencil in the Enrichery’s College Admissions Summer Workshop! In this six-day, all-inclusive workshop, students will solidify their college list, create their resume, write their essays, finish their applications in their entirety, and more. Plus, we’ll help every student really sell all their summer activities to ensure admissions counselors are adequately impressed!

Reserve your spot in the College Admissions Workshop today! Want to know a little bit more? Send us a message, contact us on Facebook, or email We’ll discuss your specific needs, and see if this Workshop is the perfect addition to your summer plans!