School’s Out: Top Tips for Teens Who Want to Make the Most of Summer Vacation

For many young people, summer means, sun, sand, surf, and of course, no school. But, all that down time puts kids at risk of losing the critical amount of information and find them playing catch up well into the new school year, plus the time off is perfect for getting them ready for the future.

We’ve put together a few tips that will get your teens ready for the next phase — college.

School's Out: Top Tips for Teens Who Want to Make the Most of Summer Vacation

Use the Time Off to Build Resumes

Keep a log of all your child’s accomplishments throughout their high school experience. This includes sports and extracurricular as well as leadership activities, or even unconventional entrepreneurial ventures.

Document their experiences after each school year ends, and by senior year, they’ll be able to select the highlights for use on their college application. The Princeton Review has a great list of what students should be tracking throughout their high school career.

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Find their Calling

While it’s not uncommon to enter into the university system with little idea of what the future may, it’s a good idea to explore interests while enjoying teens’ time off. Look into options like art or drama classes that nurture their creativity, or science classes that speak to a love of robotics or caring for the environment.


Volunteering is a great opportunity for those without the professional experience to gain some life skills while uncovering new passions, developing leadership skills, and ultimately stepping away from the social media and the video games to give something back to the planet.

Whether your child is best suited for helping animals find homes, building housing for communities in need, or feeding the hungry, high school is the perfect time to learn about a different world away from their community. Yes, testing is important, but volunteer work, whether at home or abroad, fosters a sense of self-worth and empathy that lasts a lifetime.

Get a Leg Up Academically

While more classes may not be at the top of your teen’s summer to-do list, the right academic program can be an enriching experience that can boost test scores down the road. Whether your child needs to catch up in math or wants to dive deeper into a burgeoning love of literature, taking on a challenging class offers growth for the mind in a low stakes setting –learning new skills, ones that can be added to any college application, without the pressure of keeping grade point averages up.

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Programs like the Cambridge Summer School give kids a taste of college over the summer, allowing young scholars the chance to study in a world class university setting and the opportunity to choose from 60+ subjects suited to their unique interests.

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Keep Kids Engaged

At the end of the day it may take a bit of convincing to get kids motivated, but an engaging summer that enables them to learn about their interests is critical in setting them up for future success. Instead, think of summer as a chance for your teen to visit the passions they may not have the time to explore in adulthood.

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  1. I love the idea of volunteering!! Its a great way to give back and stay out of trouble!!

  2. I so agree that we have to keep our kids engaged to keep them out of trouble. These are some great ideas that will make them better adults. Thank you so much for sharing

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