Summer in the City: Making the Most of Your Summer Vacation

It is hard to believe but summer vacation is just a few weeks away. If you’ve put off making plans for the summer or lack the funds to take a trip around the world, don’t despair – there’s plenty of opportunities for you to get valuable (and fun) experience that can help you explore your interests and different career options. Here are some suggestions on how you can make the most of your summer in and around the Boston area:

Get a job: A part-time job scooping ice cream at J. P. Licks or selling books at Borders may not seem glamorous, but it has numerous benefits. Besides giving you the chance to earn some extra money, a summer job can help you learn responsibility, time management, and multitasking and interpersonal skills.

Volunteer:
Boston has many opportunities (Children’s Hospital, MSPCA, Samaritans) for you to volunteer your time and services. In addition to helping others, volunteering gives you the chance to gain a sense of accomplishment and a different perspective. You can access a list of volunteer opportunities in your area at www.volunteermatch.org. Besides allowing you to search in a particular area of interest (such as arts and culture), the “Advanced Search” function lets you find opportunities that are great for teens.

Intern:
If there is a particular field you are interested in, consider getting a summer internship to get more experience in that field and to apply your classroom learning to real world situations. Ask your family members if they know of anyone who works in that venture and see if they can help you make contact with people who might be interested in having a summer intern or who might allow you to shadow them at their job.

Take a class:
While taking a class may seem like the antithesis of what to do during summer vacation, Harvard University offers an excellent course in Reading and Study Strategies that many of their undergraduate and graduate students take to help them adjust to the academic rigors of college. This three-week course offers explicit instruction in how to read and study and is ideal for students who are about to take their first AP class or for seniors who are preparing for college in the fall. One of our clients took the course and credited it to helping him achieve success his first semester of college. Registration for the summer class is now open. Go to www.bsc.harvard.edu/rc.html for more information.

Read:
Reading is one of the cheapest and most rewarding things you can do this summer (or anytime). It keeps your mind active, helps improve vocabulary and comprehension, and gives you something interesting to do when you are at home or stuck on the T. If you enjoy classical literature, you may want to look at the various lists online, such as Time magazine’s “100 Best Novels.” However, you don’t have to limit yourself to the classics. Clients’ book recommendations include Jon Krakauer’s Into the Wild, Michael M. Lewis’s Moneyball, and J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye. You can also see an earlier post with more reading recommendations.

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