Summer Opportunities Open as School Year Comes to a Close

Students can almost taste the freedom that comes with summer vacation as the days grow warmer and the stress revolving around final exams ensues. However, the excitement of the months in the sun isn’t the only thing that should be on students’ minds. 

While summer may be considered an outlet for never-ending fun, it is equally important that students consider how they can be productive over the summer to ensure they are making the most out of their time off. Whether that is getting ahead academically or applying for a summer job, there are a myriad of beneficial possibilities to explore. 

If one is interested in focusing on their academics this summer, an excellent opportunity being advertised to students are local college summer programs. These programs allow students to expand their intellect while also gaining college experience, most of the time for no cost at all.  

“In our College and Career Center in B337, Miss Loftus and Miss Sun keep track of a lot of pre-college summer programs. We especially look for ones that are free or low cost for our students. A lot of those programs can be two weeks, four weeks, six weeks, and some of them will even pay students, so while you have ten weeks off, I think it is awesome to be able to engage in the world in different ways than being in school all day,” Erin Craven, Director of School Counseling, shared. 

Melissa Loftus and Michelle Sun in front of the College and Career Center. ZACHARY NEDELL

The lessons learned at these college summer programs can be valuable in more ways than one, they allow you to experiment with what you may be interested in pursuing in the future of your academic career.

“What I would suggest is that if you have an inkling of what you want to study in college, taking a summer program at a school in that field is a great way to test if that works for you. I think it’s a very valuable lesson if you go and take a summer program about something and you hate it, it's a great way to learn that maybe that isn't what you want to go into. It’s fine to go into school undecided but learning a little bit earlier can be hugely helpful,” Melissa Loftus, one of the College and Career Center counselors, explained. 

For those uninterested in taking the academic summer route, practicing financial responsibility and independence can also be a beneficial way to spend your summer vacation. Not only are you learning the valuable life skill of reliability, but you are also benefiting your future. “A lot of students need to work for the summer. Earning money is a great way to spend your summer and any job, absolutely any job, can be of value to your future and to your resume. So maybe if you can’t take advantage of a pre-college summer program, consider getting a job in some capacity even if it's part-time to earn your own money,” Craven advised. 

Summer can also be a time to try new things by exploring different interests. Loftus describes one unique “opportunity that sticks out to me the most, some of us just went on a field trip to Mass Robotics and they have some great free programs if you are interested in anything like that. Anything in the robotics field, any computer tech type stuff, they have some great stuff and they're paid. The one I thought was the coolest was a drone program. They teach you how to build a drone and you get to keep it at the end. They give you a kit, they teach you how to build it, you get to keep it, and they pay you so I think that's very rewarding and a cool experience.”

Finding a balance between a restful and advantageous summer can be difficult, but its significance cannot be overstated. “It is important for students to be productive this summer, but productivity can look a lot of different ways. Everyone needs to decompress. There's nothing wrong with sleeping in, there's nothing wrong with a rainy day inside, but with the eight or ten weeks students have off, it is of great value to just be in life,” Craven exclaims empathetically. 

As the countdown to the end of the year nearly comes to a close, remember that there are limitless opportunities to have an equally productive and enjoyable summer. Becoming informed about all that is available to you is one step in the right direction of a summer filled with new unforgettable experiences. 

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