10 Summer Activities to Boost Your College Applications

Colorful chairs on a beachBy: Mia Myklebust
1.    Take a self-defense class or car-repair class
Basically, get yourself a skill! Pick something that interests you and find a class that will teach you how to do it. Whether it’s knitting or boxing, there are all kinds of classes out there. Check your local community center for low-cost options.
2.    Read the news
This probably sounds boring, but keeping up with current events is one of the most important things you can do for yourself. Knowing what’s going on in the world around you will make you seem intelligent and can also provide conversation topics in college interviews. Make news interesting by using Twitter to follow your favorite news sites and reporters.
3.    Get a library card
Hey, we’re in a recession, why spend money on books when you can check them out of your local library for free? Reading will open your mind and broaden your horizons. Let me guess, you’re “not a reader”. Try picking out your own books and not being forced to analyze them by your English teacher and you might just be surprised; reading can be pretty great.
4.    Join a foreign language conversation class
So what if all the Spanish you know is, “Cómo estás,” this summer is the perfect time for you to get down with your bi-lingual (or tri-lingual) self. Nothing is more impressive on a college application (or on a first date) than speaking a foreign language.
5.    Join a summer sports league
Even if you play sports for your high school, try joining a summer league just for fun. This can show your passion for the sport and help increase your skills so you can rock it out on the field next season.
6.    Refurbish or re-purpose something old
Rummage in your attic or garage to find something you can fix up. Vintage is officially awesome, so cut up your mom’s jean jacket, or repaint your grandpa’s bike and make that old item as good as new!
7.    Start a blog on topic you’re interested in
Starting your own blog is a great way to express your interest and knowledge on a certain topic. If you love crunching numbers start a finance blog. If you’re crazy about food start a nutrition blog. Stick to what you’re passionate about, but steer away from making your blog into a personal journal.
8.    Get a group together to make sack lunches for the homeless
Gather together your siblings, friends and neighbors for a day of service. Pack lunches for the homeless in your city, or clean up a local park. Doing community service in groups can enable you to really step out of your comfort zone, plus organizing an event like this will help develop your leadership skills.
9.    Mow the lawn for an elderly person on your street
Simple chores like mowing the lawn, taking out the trash or feeding the cat can be extremely helpful to an elderly person. You can give back to your community and rack up some good karma by performing easy tasks like these every once in a while. You will find that doing good deeds really does make you feel good. And if you’re ever feeling blue, doing something for someone else puts everything in perspective. For what else are we born?
10. Go to your local art museum
You may be surprised how much you enjoy your local art museum if you give it a chance. After all, most great artists were rebels. Also, many museums give student discounts so you won’t have to break the bank to get in.
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