What are you doing this summer?

One of the many symptoms of the college admissions frenzy is the extension of classes, activities, and other seemingly productive expenditures of student time and energy into the summer months. While the intensity may be misguided, the spirit is not. Motivated, curious, interesting students don’t want to spend their summer sitting on the couch every day. That’s why so many colleges ask students to describe how they spent their summers. They can learn a lot by how you choose to spend your time when you’re not on the clock.

But just about every college in the country—including the most selective—would also encourage you to enjoy some downtime this summer. Sleep in, go outside, see your friends, and do lots of other things that have absolutely nothing to do with getting into college. Even professional athletes have an off-season. And teenagers, especially those who work hard in challenging classes and demanding activities during the school year, need time off to rest and recharge.

If you’d like some suggestions on how to plan a summer that will not only be enjoyable and productive, but also allow you to be a teenager rather than a resume-building machine, here are two Collegewise resources I share annually.

First, here’s my past post, 50 Ways to Spend your Summer.

And here is the far more detailed Collegewise Summer Planning Guide.

I hope you use them, and more importantly, I hope you share them with fellow students, parents, and counselors.