After months of self-isolation and state-wide closures, life is finally creeping back to normal at what feels like a snail's pace. And while the plans you once had for the summer might still be nixed, summer itself isn't cancelled. For the next few months, you have the freedom to choose how you'll use your time and we hope you make the most of this break from possibly the strangest school year you've ever experienced. Here are some ideas we want to throw your way that won't be affected by COVID-19—
Summer is a great time to start taking on more responsibility and practicing for life after high school. The more independent living skills you have, the more successful you're likely to be after graduating. So learn how to cook or bake a few recipes from scratch, begin to think about finances and start by opening up a bank account, become your own laundry-doer, and find ways to make it fun along the way. We promise that adulting is less scary and more empowering than you think!
Create or update your resume
Whether you hope to get a summer job as things re-open or have yet to document your latest achievements, set some time aside to work on a resume. No need to start from scratch—there are lots of templates out there to help you get started. Don't have any work experience yet? No problem! Instead of employment history, highlight the activities you've been involved in so far: clubs, sports, volunteer work, etc.
Apply for scholarships
There's a common misconception that the only time to apply for scholarships is during the fall and winter of senior year. No way is that the case! There are scholarships out there for students as young as 13, and different opportunities are available throughout the year, not just while school is in session. So get searching and start applying while you've got some extra time on your hands. Unigo, Fastweb, and Oregon Gear Up are a few easy places to start.
Make your college list
This one is especially important for soon-to-be seniors who are college-bound, but it's actually a great activity for all high school students. Online tools like Big Future make it simple to narrow down the pool of schools based on what you're looking for in your college experience — from size to location, majors to tuition, activities to diversity. As you learn more about the schools you match with you can save the schools the pique your interest. Throughout the summer, narrow down your top choices (we recommend that your final list has around five schools).
Let's be real — the last few months have been stressful. We hope that you'll use the summer months to take care of yourself and have some fun. Start a new hobby that you've always wanted to try, relax in the sun (don't forget sun screen!), find creative ways to spend time with friends, bike and hike and picnic and swim. Your wellbeing is a top priority; treat it that way by enjoying your well-earned break!