You are finally done with high school and are determined to pursue further studies. You have time during the summer to get yourself equipped for all that college has to offer.

Whether that means creating a monthly college budget or applying to be a member of the National Honors Society, there is so much you can do to utilize the summer before you start college.

What is the national honors society? It is an organization that operates all across the US for high school students, consisting of several chapters in high schools. There are four main selection criteria: service, leadership, character, and scholarship.

So, if you are looking to become part of this prestigious society, you have the opportunity to improve. The summer right before your first year of college, you can learn all about what looks really good on your college application and schedule your free time accordingly.

We have gathered a list to help you use this time to your advantage. Of course, this doesn't mean you have to miss out on enjoying this time. But it would be best if you spent time preparing yourself for this critical time in your life.

A woman sitting on a field under the summer sun
Summer right before college is an exciting time, which goes by in a flash. However, if you spend that time wisely and fulfill National Honors Society requirements, you can improve your college application. (Source: Pixabay)
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Internships

It is good to get hands-on experience in the field you are interested in before receiving a college education. Therefore, it is a good idea to do an internship particular to your degree in the summer.

Doing an internship before college will distinguish you from other students. In addition, the role of a trainee will help teach you practical skills.

The main goal of an internship should not be to earn income. Instead, the idea is to start a career and get good at it with time.

The job market is highly competitive. A country's economy depends upon skillset, talent, and experience more today than ever before. Yet, we daily see a spike in the unemployment of recent graduates.

Why is that? The fundamental reason is that they are inexperienced in applying their knowledge in the real world.

So while you have time before college starts, internships would provide the practical and working knowledge needed during your professional life.

In addition, it brings a wealth of benefits during the length of your degree as well.

Here are some additional benefits of doing an internship:

  1. Career exploration
  2. Gaining experience and increasing marketability
  3. Networking
  4. National Data
  5. Professionalism
  6. Understanding of how a professional workplace operates
  7. Building your resume
  8. Gaining professional feedback
  9. Learning from others
  10. Figuring out what you like and what you don't

Community Service

If you are determined to be part of the National Honors Society, doing volunteer work should be on your summer to-do list. One of the primary national honors society requirements is service- which requires you to contribute voluntary services to the community without any compensation in return.

There are several ways to find volunteer work:

  • If you are passionate about helping animals, then you can reach out to a local shelter
  • If politics interests you, you could choose a cause you support and do campaign work to push it forward
  • If you are a bookworm, you can go to your local library and ask them if they need assistance

Moreover, even if you are not looking to be a member of the National Honors Society and want to know what looks good on a college application for activities, you should consider volunteering.

Speak To Professionals In The Field

This may seem surprising, but most working professionals are willing to share their knowledge with motivated students. In addition, they would counsel you and make you aware of the challenges of your field.

Please do your research and ask them relevant questions. The better you research your desired field, the more your chances of excelling.

Professionals can answer complex questions like what the job entails, the pros and cons, what to study, and get started. Then, you can use the information to self-evaluate and decide whether or not this is the right education and career path for you.

A group of young people sitting outdoors
Some students may feel overwhelmed with all the free time they seem to have during summertime. However, if your first year of college is about to start, then you can keep yourself busy figuring out what looks good on a college application for activities. (Source: Pixabay)
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Review Academic Content

Time off from formal studies may cause you to worry about forgetting essential subjects. But you can prevent this from happening by reviewing academic content.

Students should revisit the content they learned in high school and build upon those skills as efficiently as possible.

You may need to revisit certain subjects like math, science, and English before joining college.

Reach out to your professors before college starts. Ask them about academic books you can read. Go through the outline. Your interest will determine a good image in the eyes of professors.

Create Your Resume

Resume-making is not a one-time job. But, as your interests, education, and skills improve, you can update your resume accordingly.

When you start writing a resume, there may not be much to report. So, you can start with basic information about yourself, your residence, and contact details.

Then you may add your educational background and any certifications. If you have done an internship, it will help make your resume stand out. Then you can add your interests, skills, and hobbies.

Get Your Finances In Order

Most college students are responsible for their own expenditures. This includes how they spend money, track college costs, and stay on top of financial aid. Here are some things prospective college students should keep in mind:

Create A College Budget

Getting used to living on a budget would be great practice before college starts. Cut down on unnecessary expenses and make a note of the necessary ones to save money.

Figure Out Your Banking Needs

College students need to have a bank account. This allows them to deposit paychecks, receive financial aid disbursements, or receive funds from parents or other sources.

Review Your Students Loan

As a student, understanding federal and private loans is crucial for you. So do understand terms and conditions like when to start making payments, etc.

A woman reading a book in the park
Academic studies are never-ending when you are a student. During your summer vacation, you have time to understand what looks good on a college application. And, you will have time to work on making it look good as well. (Source: Pixabay)

Preparing For Your Degree

To be proactive, try to research your degree before college starts.

Be Ready Before Classes Start

Shifting from high school to college is a big change. Many students move away from their friends and family for the first time.

This will be a stressful time, and there are ways to prepare yourself for these new challenges. For example, researching academic support beforehand can help newcomers build a foundation for college success.

Implementing Covid 19 Protocols

The coronavirus pandemic has rattled the education sector. Colleges and most other educational institutes have had to move their classes and resources online.

Practicing social distancing is imperative. So ensure that you wear a mask and implement other rules to keep your respective community safe. Getting yourself vaccinated is the best protocol before you enter college.

Read Daily

College involves more reading than high school. Reading course books would further your comprehension and analysis.

To find a good read, you can contact the college. Moreover, you can also go through the US College Reading List and pick out books that interest you.

Research Your Possible Majors

Most first-year students are unaware of the major they want to pursue. Therefore, before joining college, you must research thoroughly to clarify your prospects.

Polish Soft Skills

One highly encouraged skill students must develop is communication. This includes both social and academic interactions.

In addition, leadership and problem-solving skills are crucial when applying for an internship during graduation life. Thus, leadership is also part of the national honors society requirements.

Practice Time Management

Unlike high school, managing college studies and your social life would be challenging because it would be unfamiliar territory.

However, there are many smartphone apps aimed at students for this exact purpose. These applications help organize your day and tasks. A little organization can go a long way in making sure you use your time wisely.

Contact Professors Before Classes

Manifesting a strong relationship with professors can go a long way. It will give professors the impression that you are a curious learner and open to new experiences.

However, remember to be respectful and professional during such interactions.

Take Orientation Seriously

Covid has postponed many college activities. However, as the situation continues to improve, it is possible to experience hybrid orientations. Regardless of the format, orientation is an opportunity for students to ask questions.

Research About College Life

The clubs you were a part of in high school may determine the extracurricular activities you partake in during college. College provides numerous opportunities to explore existing interests or embark on new ones. Having a plan of action before starting college would add meaning to the studentship.

Know Where To Go For Academic Help

Newcomers should know that most colleges employ counselors dedicated to helping students.

The counselors help students cover academic gaps. In addition, they offer mental and educational support. They also help provide students with a sense of purpose through emotional counseling.

Proactivity Begets Success

As we discussed,  before starting college, you can hunt for an internship in your desired field. Or spend the summer doing charity work.

Regardless, do consider your personal goals along with your academic ones and try enjoying the start of this new and exciting journey.

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