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Activities for Teens to Do During Summer To Put on Their College Applications

Updated: Jun 29, 2023

A high school student painting

Summer is not only a time for relaxation and fun; it can also be an excellent opportunity for teenagers to engage in activities that will enhance their college applications. Admissions officers value well-rounded students who exhibit a passion for learning, leadership skills, and a commitment to making a positive impact on their community. By taking advantage of the summer break to participate in various activities, teens can demonstrate their diverse interests and personal growth. In this blog post, we will explore a range of engaging activities that can help teenagers strengthen their college applications.


Volunteering is a powerful way for teens to give back to their community while gaining valuable skills and experiences. Consider volunteering at local non-profit organizations, community centers, hospitals, or animal shelters. Engaging in volunteer work showcases compassion, empathy, and a commitment to making a difference. Look for opportunities that align with your interests, whether it's tutoring underprivileged children, organizing environmental clean-up campaigns, or helping out at a local food bank.

Internships and Job Shadowing

Securing an internship or participating in job shadowing programs allows teens to explore potential career paths and gain practical experience in their areas of interest. Seek out opportunities at local businesses, startups, or research institutions that match your career aspirations. Not only will this provide valuable insight into your desired field, but it will also demonstrate initiative, professionalism, and a proactive approach to learning.

Academic Enrichment Programs

Participating in academic enrichment programs during the summer can showcase your intellectual curiosity and dedication to learning. Look for summer programs offered by universities, research institutions, or specialized organizations. These programs can provide valuable exposure to advanced coursework, research opportunities, and collaborations with like-minded peers. Pathways Early College Academy is hosting a wide range of hands-on learning workshops this summer to help teens explore their interests in STEM, Design, and Business! Check them out here.

Sports and Athletics

Engaging in sports and athletics not only promotes physical well-being but also cultivates discipline, teamwork, and leadership skills. Join a local sports team or consider participating in summer sports camps or clinics. Demonstrating a commitment to a particular sport and showcasing personal growth through challenges and achievements can make a positive impression on college admissions officers.

Creative Pursuits

If you have a passion for the arts, use the summer break to indulge in creative pursuits. Consider taking classes or workshops in painting, photography, music, writing, or any other artistic endeavor you enjoy. Engaging in creative activities highlights your individuality, self-expression, and dedication to honing your talents.

Entrepreneurial Ventures

For those with an entrepreneurial spirit, starting a small business or pursuing a personal project during the summer can be an excellent way to demonstrate initiative, innovation, and leadership. It could involve launching an online store, organizing a community event, or developing an app or website. Such ventures not only provide practical experience but also showcase your problem-solving abilities and drive for success. The Academy’s symposiums give students access to mentorship opportunities from local business owners. Learn more about gaining real-world project experience in our career symposiums here.

A high school student colunteering

While the summer break provides an opportunity to unwind and recharge, engaging in meaningful activities can give teenagers a competitive edge when it comes to college applications. By pursuing volunteer work, internships, academic enrichment programs, sports, creative pursuits, or entrepreneurial ventures, students can showcase their passion, personal growth, leadership skills, and commitment to making a positive impact. Remember, it's essential to choose activities that genuinely interest you and allow you to grow and develop as an individual. Use the summer wisely, and make the most of the opportunities available to you. Your future self will thank you!

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