The spring semester is just underway; and if getting back into the swing of things after the thrilling holidays isn’t enough, I have another chore for your long list. Identify meaningful summer activities for your teen. The reason “meaningful” is thrown into the mix is that not all summer activities are created equal. Consider that your child has their heart set on designing buildings; going to a horseback riding camp probably will not impress many people in an Architecture department.
I can already feel the tension begin to increase because you don’t know what your child wants to do with their life. Grab a glass of wine, kick off your shoes and try to relax. Even if your freshman or sophomore has a strong affinity for a career right now, it is likely to change. Whether they are sure or just thinking about something, finding a way for them to gain some insight into a career option will pay big dividends in the college planning process and beyond.
Just like finding information for anything you don’t know about, you can use Google to find meaningful experiences for your child. For those of us who use Google extensively, you also know that you will get a lot of information that is completely useless. Sometime the answer you need is sitting on the first page of the search results and other times, multiple searches do not bear fruit.
Don’t make the process harder than it has to be. It can be as simple as setting up a job shadowing day with someone you already know or contacting a local college to see if they have a residential or day camp targeting a particular career area. Most occupations will have some type of experiential activity for an interested high school student. But, you can’t wait too long to find and confirm participation in that activity. Most applications for such events go online in January and February. If you have not applied by spring break, chances are that you will have to wait until next year. So, get going with scheduling a summer activity that will help narrow that career focus and make the college application process a little easier.