5 ways the summer can help you get ahead

Summer is a wonderful time for relaxing by the pool and hanging with friends; a time to take a break and reconnect with friends and family. Summer is also a great time to reflect on the previous school year and take some quality time to think about your future. Whether you plan on taking the SATs soon or you are applying for colleges in the fall, summer provides you with three stress-free months where you can focus on your academics and all the steps needed to secure a successful future. Below is a list of 5 ways to use your summer break to get ahead and on the right path to college.  


  • Freedom to study what interests you


Summer break provides you with three stress-free months to dive deeper into topics and subject areas that are meaningful and relevant to your likes and interests. You have the flexibility (and time) to learn about purposeful materials that are important to you as a learner and for your future. For example: if you enjoy American History, you have the freedom to read books about the topic, research events that are relevant and during a time period you enjoy, and visit places around your area to make the learning fun (battlefields, museums, and historical sites).  Don’t think that summer learning is just about memorizing algorithms but rather make the learning relevant and worth your time.


  • Fill in gaps where you struggled


There are always things we can improve on when it comes to your education; summer break allows you the time and energy to fill in the curricular gaps that may have occurred throughout the fast-paced school year. Over the summer months, you can take the time necessary to better understand your academic weaknesses and fine-tune your strengths as a learner. If you feel that this is a daunting task and you need assistance, hiring a tutor could be a great way to fill in the gaps. 


  • Be ahead of the curve


Summertime studying is a great way to be one step ahead of the masses. With the SAT/ACT exams in your near future and college right around the corner, it is important to make sure that you are as prepared as possible for what high school and the college application process throws your way. Take time over the summer to read books on the “Summer Reading” list, research what colleges require during the application process, start to brainstorm ideas for your entrance essay for college…you can even go as far as to have a summer internship to familiarize yourself with the job market and what you find interesting. 


  • Test Prep at your own pace


The ACT and SAT are a big deal as a high school student. With all of the curricular goals during the school year, it can be challenging to give the standardized exam(s) the dedication they require. During the summer, however, you can study at a much more relaxed pace and focus on the areas where you struggle and need more support. Use the time to better understand how the exam is structured and what is needed to be successful in each part. Take a full-length practice test and review the questions you got wrong, focus on errors and content connected to those types of questions, and review, refresh and familiarize your child with each subject area. Take a look at a 6-month study plan and a 1-year study plan to help pace your summer studying. 


  • Keep up study habits and kick the “summer brain drain”


Studying over summer break can help reduce the “summer brain drain” that occurs over the sunny and relaxing three months of no formal education. Don’t get me wrong, you learn life lessons during the summer break but you aren’t necessarily focusing on critical skills that will help you prepare for college. Over the summer months, it is important to keep thinking and using your brain to fine-tune your study habits for the next school year (and the future). Take the time to read, research, and think about things other than the pool and time spent with friends. 


While summer is a great time to relax and play, it is also a three month period where you can freely work on improving the rest of your high school experience and better prepare for college. If you feel that the idea of “studying” over the summer is too much to wrap your head around, think about hiring a tutor to help with the process. Take a look at the following blogs when thinking about hiring a tutor: