After a shaky start in the spring, a quick glance at a weather app on a Smartphone shows the temperature has risen and the sun is here to stay. Recreational summer clubs are opening, outdoor activities are increasing and hours in the classrooms have ended at Hewlett High School.
For many students, the summer brings endless opportunities. The wide range of activities in the summer differs greatly. Whether this hot season is spent catching up on studying and academics, having fun, making money, or a combination, this time is generally enjoyable for most.
With plenty of availability, some spend their summer working. Popular occupations include lifeguard, cabana/locker boy, golf caddy, receptionist, and camp counselor. Having a job can not only bring responsibility to student’s lives, but it also forces them to learn to work together with new people. This experience is greatly beneficial for jobs later in life as well as filling up the “work experience” section on college applications.
“Working as a lifeguard, I work with and encounter people who are older than me in age but treat me as their equals. Knowing that I am getting paid for providing a service, I have developed a stronger sense of responsibility and I always strive to do my best, “ Kelly Cheng, a junior, said. “Not to mention, I no longer have to constantly ask my parents for money and I have become more conservative with spending because I have learned that money is hard earned.”
Obtaining an internship in a possible future profession can be even more exciting for students. While they may not get the opportunity to work as many hours, or make as much money as a summer job, the new skills and knowledge could help students learn about and identify possible career paths and impress colleges with their passion.
Many academic programs for the summer are also aimed to provide students with experiences useful beyond high school. A large portion of colleges and universities have programs where high school students are eligible to take courses, while sometimes living on campus. Some programs engage students actively in learning by including research internships in labs with hands-on involvement. Some students attend science research lab programs to continue with studies from the science research program at high school.
Traveling and learning about diverse cultures are also part of the summer educational landscape. Along with family vacations there are several student-oriented program travel agencies. Sessions vary from cultural exploration and community service from companies such as Putney Student Travel, West Coast Connection, and Rustic Pathways. Joining students from around the country, it is intriguing to discover new locations, food, music and people. Learning to see how others live, often results in looking at our own lives differently.
With an assortment of options for the summer, it can be difficult to choose what is best. However, knowing what is best personally is important. For a student craving learning during the summer; there is no reason to stop, for a student wanting more independence; there are endless opportunities waiting, and for someone curious about the world; there is no reason to hold back. It is easy to become overwhelmed with the time available in the summer, but do not forget to use it wisely.