Use the Summer to Cultivate Essay-Worthy Experiences

Use your summer to have essay-worthy experiences

Flickr user Clarkston SCAMP

As tempting as it is to lounge around all summer playing video games or binge-watching shows on Netflix, it’s going to be difficult to turn those experiences into application essays. (It might be possible, but probably not.) So it might be a good idea to use the time to explore your options.

How to use your summer to your application advantage

Work of some kind is always an excellent way to show your character. Workplace stories abound, whether they come from coworkers, customers, or random occurrences with your job duties. A summer job or internship will present you as hardworking and willing to work for opportunities.


Traveling is a great way to learn something about yourself. Whether it’s going somewhere with your family, a mission trip with your church, or a solo adventure, you’re bound to bring something new back with you. It can be a realization about yourself, about the world around you, or any other number of contemplations.


Volunteering is another way to show you’re a go-getter. Working at an animal shelter, for example, can show compassion and patience. There are also opportunities at senior homes, summer camps for kids, artist groups, and so on.

The point is that there is likely some summer activity out there that fits your interests and can lead to a successful college application essay. All of these examples can lead to opportunities to learn about yourself, or set you up against some obstacle, or even just cement the idea of what you want to do in college. And these aren’t your only options: Conduct experiments, write short stories, expand your portfolios, learn something new. And then get to work on those application essays.

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