What Are Your Summer Plans?

Now is the perfect time to start thinking about your summer plans. Many college and summer program applications have deadlines in the spring and require teacher recommendations. Seats fill up fast in the most prestigious programs, so it’s important to apply early.

Ideally, your summer adventures and explorations are an extension of your extracurricular activities and interests. Here’s a description of an acclaimed summer writing program for high school students offered through Duke University:

“If good writing requires inspiration, concentration and solitude, then Ghost Ranch, New Mexico is a writer’s paradise. Located in a high desert landscape, Ghost Ranch features canyons, red rock mesas and an ever-changing variety of colorful sunsets. Artist Georgia O’Keeffe once said of Ghost Ranch, “All the earth colors of the painter’s palette are out there in the many miles of badlands.” This field study offers students the opportunity to enjoy two weeks of creative discovery in this serene, beautiful location. Nurtured by the solitude and beauty of Ghost Ranch, you will have time and freedom to develop your creative writing style, learn professional writing techniques, and experience the process of writing. In this retreat setting, you will be challenged to leave the distractions of the day-to-day world behind and immerse yourselves in the imaginative craft of writing. In addition, you will participate in outdoor adventures, take field trips to regional cultural sites, and visit with local artists and writers. The course framework is based on daily readings of works by contemporary authors as well as on your own prose and poetry. Through guided writing exercises, you will acquire strategies for developing characters, setting, and plot; hone descriptive techniques; and learn to read with a writer’s eye. You will participate in supportive critique workshops with peers and instructors, writing independently and revising your work in response to constructive feedback.”

If there are no programs that fit your interests, you can also work on your own research project, start a new initiative, or explore a career through an internship. We guide students in finding rewarding summer opportunities, jobs, internships, and community service experiences that are looked upon favorably by colleges. Summer opportunities that help strengthen a student’s application will be different for each student, based on the student’s overall application and background. For one student, an 8-week community service trip in a rural area will be an important life transforming event. For another student, working at a local business will demonstrate a strong work ethic.