Greetings, all, and welcome. Winter is here, second semester just started, and spring is not yet in the air. Even so, deadlines for summer jobs, internships, camps, and other opportunities often arrive in February or March. So, let’s talk a little about your summer plans.
My first piece of advice to those of you who are students is to be certain that your plan has plenty of fun, rest, and family and friends involved. Summer is a time of rejuvenation after your hard work in school. It also offers opportunities to learn more about yourself, investigate future opportunities, and build your college résumé.
Some of these activities are best suited to specific grade levels:
Complete up to 25 service hours after 8th grade or more after 9th–12th grades (CHCCS schools); volunteer at a summer program at the Arts Center, the Planetarium, a sports camp, or countless other summer camps; explore ways to learn more about yourself—what makes your heart soar, what you are good at, what you like and don’t like.
Take driver’s education (you must be 14½ years old in North Carolina).
Participate in a school-sponsored activity such as the marching band, preseason sports, or sports, technology or art camp.
Explore a college by attending a summer program at the school.
Consider a summer job. Some good first jobs include lifeguard, kennel assistant, summer camp counselor, attendant at a movie theater, working at a restaurant or grocery store, pool cleaner, and golf course caddy. You might also get an internship: talk to people you know with jobs that appeal to you. Or create your own business: some ideas are tutoring, lawn mowing, babysitting, pet walking/sitting, or being a handy person (doing general tasks). It can be a great experience in entrepreneurship to create flyers and develop your own summer job.
Prepare for college by doing PSAT/SAT/PLAN/ACT test prep, making college visits, and working on college essays—you can get started after 9th grade, but the main focus on these activities is usually after 10th and 11th grade.
And for graduating seniors: By the time summer comes, my main message for you will be Congratulations! You will have decided what your plans are for next year—but you still need a summer plan. It might include finding a job to earn money for next fall, it might include a trip with high school friends to celebrate all you have experienced together, and it should include the preparation needed for taking your next steps. For now, apply for jobs, internships, or other programs that will help you move into your bright future. And feel proud of yourself!