Blog

Check out our variety of resources to learn more about executive function coaching and the latest updates from Beyond BookSmart

Schedule a Free Discovery Call

Featured Posts

Making College Affordable: 5 Tips for Securing Scholarships

College planning can be both exciting and stressful. While students and parents ...

The Best Strategy for Building Strong Student-Teacher Relationships

When I had to move when I was in college, I did what most people do: I asked my ...

Freshman Social Jitters? 5 Tips to Making Friends in College

As August nears its end and a new school year waits around the corner, a certain...

A Personalized Process for Sustainable Success

Read about our two levels of coaching, then take our
quick assessment to see which level is likely to be the best fit for your student.

Jul 15, 2019

Editor's note: This week, we feature guest blogger Steven Cruz, , M.A., President and Founder of Omega Educational Consulting, Inc. Please read more about Steven below.

While many of us might look back on our high school summer breaks as months-long expanses Summer activities for high school studentsof warm days, visiting family, working a low-paying temporary job, and relishing a relaxing sense of freedom, many students have begun to dread it as just another time to pack in the résumé building experiences they have no time for during the academic year. And who can blame them for being weary of the unrelenting treadmill of "college application worthy" expectations? Nonetheless, students cannot completely ignore the need to demonstrate what they bring to the table during the school admissions process. Fortunately, happy summers and gainful summers don’t have to be mutually exclusive. We like to help students find a productive medium where they’re both enjoying their time and making it benefit their futures. How can you maximize both? Let’s look at some strategies. 

6 Ways to Combine Personal Growth and Enjoyment

As much as possible, students should pursue activities that promote both growth and satisfaction. Here are the most popular options we suggest to students:

1) Find service opportunities in places you’d like to travel to.

Would you like to help provide clean water or build homes in Central America? Teach English in China? Assist turtles in Greenland? There are numerous programs that offer the opportunity to give, grow, and have fun. 

2) Volunteer or work for local organizations you care about.

You don’t necessarily have to seek service opportunities abroad. There are plenty locally or in nearby cities. Many nonprofits offer internships and volunteering for both high school and college students.  

3) Find unique programs or classes (at schools you’re interested in).

Consider your academic interests. What motivates your curiosity? Do you want to learn to code in Python? Deepen your understanding of macroeconomics? Improve your Japanese? Once you determine the area, you can begin to seek it out through specialized high school programs at community colleges and universities. You don’t have to limit yourself to what’s nearby or even what’s in the country. International schools and universities frequently offer unique programs as well. You might want to start with the schools you’re most interested in. If they have something that fits, you’ll also be able to get a taste of student life on that campus. 

4) Find jobs or internships that motivate you and advance you towards your goals.

For students who are thinking about studying finance, I recommend getting an internship or working in a bank. Those interested in medicine would be advised to shadow in different specialties at a hospital. If climate change is your thing, and you don’t want to spend your summer in environmental science courses, perhaps you could investigate relevant nonprofits. 

5) Find research opportunities.

This is especially pertinent to students interested in the sciences. While there are some programs that assist students in getting positions, many of the opportunities come by directly contacting professors either cold or through contacts you already have. 

6) Continue (and progress in) what you’ve done in the past.

For some students, this means becoming a counselor at a summer camp or continuing another activity they’ve done for several years. Consistency and progress are more important than displaying a particular kind of activity on your CV. 

Of course, a number of these options above are not only for the summertime. Students can often find ways to incorporate fulfilling activities during winter breaks and the school year. Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to follow your curiosity. Personal growth and passion will benefit your college applications more than a laundry list of activities you aren’t truly invested in.

Photo by Liam Macleod on Unsplash

steven-cruzSteven Cruz, M.A., President and Founder of Omega Educational Consulting, Inc, has nearly two decades of professional experience in educational counseling, program development, and student affairs. An accomplished speaker, program developer, communicator, and facilitator, Steven has an established record of providing admissions, housing and personal support to his domestic and international clients. Since founding Omega Educational Consulting. Steven has presented several workshops on “How to enroll in an American University” in Mexico City (Mexico), Cali (Colombia), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Steven has been a featured keynote speaker at NYU, Columbia University, and the Juilliard School of the Arts as well as other numerous conferences on student issues. A native New Yorker, Steven is fluent in both English and Spanish and is proficient in Italian.


Priority matrix guideDownload our Priority Matrix Guide, a structured approach to helping an over-scheduled student identify what really matters.

Download >


Please see this page for comprehensive information about Executive Function in high school students.

About the Author

Steven Cruz and Jesse Tandler

Steven Cruz, M.A., President and Founder of Omega Educational Consulting, Inc, has nearly two decades of professional experience in educational counseling, program development, and student affairs. An accomplished speaker, program developer, communicator, and facilitator, Steven has an established record of providing admissions, housing and personal support to his domestic and international clients. Since founding Omega Educational Consulting. Steven has presented several workshops on “How to enroll in an American University” in Mexico City (Mexico), Cali (Colombia), Belo Horizonte (Brazil), San Juan (Puerto Rico) and Santo Domingo (Dominican Republic). Steven has been a featured keynote speaker at NYU, Columbia University, and the Juilliard School of the Arts as well as other numerous conferences on student issues. A native New Yorker, Steven is fluent in both English and Spanish and is proficient in Italian. Jesse Tandler , Vice President of Omega Educational Consulting, Inc, brings the expertise of over a decade’s experience in the world of education from the elementary to graduate school. me, he began to gain international experience, studying for a year in Germany at the universities of Göttingen and Berlin. In 2008, Jesse was back in New York City, working at Bronx Preparatory Charter School in the South Bronx, where he taught high school English and assisted over 100 seniors in the messaging and execution of their college essays in the school’s College Prep program. In 2010, he began a PhD in comparative literature and currently teaches courses in philosophy, rhetoric and writing, as well as German language, at Hunter College, Brooklyn College and the New York City College of Technology. He has also tutored Test Prep for both the SAT and the ACT, as well as English, German, Spanish, history, and math. Jesse’s years of work with a broad range of students, from the severely autistic to the highest achievers, has trained him in individualizing the learning experience according to each student’s personal style and needs.

Comments

Related Post

Making College Affordable: 5 Tips for Se...

College planning can be both exciting and stressful. While students and parents celebrate this new stage and its milestones, for many, one question lo...

The Best Strategy for Building Strong St...

When I had to move when I was in college, I did what most people do: I asked my friends for help. And, despite the busy lives they lead, they did. (Or...

Freshman Social Jitters? 5 Tips to Makin...

As August nears its end and a new school year waits around the corner, a certain segment of students who recently graduated high school are coming to ...