Having gone through the full range of emotions about the recent dishonesty uncovered in college admissions, I decided that my two cents did not need to be added to the growing pile of opinions on the subject. Instead, I opted for something of a positive nature that should prove both timely and helpful as your sons and daughters prepare for life after high school.
Here in the south, spring has already sprung and will continue to work its way north in the coming weeks. Now is the time to make plans for a productive summer. That is probably not music to the ears of students who are dealing with homework and projects, but “productive” does not necessarily mean unpleasant work.
A few things to consider for anyone in their teens include job shadowing, volunteering, summer camps that focus on leadership, team building, a major or career of interest, STEM areas, something in the creative arts or an academic subject that needs a little work. These things can be over and done in a week or two and yield valuable information that will help in making more informed decisions about college.
When involved in helping select activities for the summer, I encourage students to find something offered on a college campus. The intent is to kill two birds with one stone – so to speak. Birds are hardly ever harmed during the summer activities…
Spending a week or two on a college campus allows the student to get the feel of what it’s like to live in the dorms, eat in the cafeteria and navigate the campus. Details about what it means to be a student in college will emerge that will make future campus visits more meaningful. Also, the student has an opportunity to spend time with like-minded individuals and learn what attracted them to the major or career area, get an in-depth look at the subject matter from experienced faculty as well as hear from and question professionals who work in the career area. The expected outcome is that the student will come away from the camp with good information that will allow them to embrace the major/career or discover that the career in question is not for them. Both are very valid outcomes when exploring careers.
So, begin questioning Google about summer camps or contact a local or favorite college to see what they have to offer. Whatever you decide, get to work now. Many camps already have waiting lists and you don’t want to miss out.