Summer for Teens: A Guide to Success
It’s almost summertime. We all know our children look forward to that great feeling of freedom, sleeping late, swimming and hanging out. The smell of sunscreen, salt water and sea air. Pure joy. But wait! That was when they were kids. Now that they are an older student – say high school or even middle school – the summer months can be a great way for them to make a big splash for their future. While in school, most students focus on grades or sports and most of that takes a break in the summer.
Here are ten encouraging tips for students looking to add something to their summer to-do list that can put them ahead of others who choose to do nothing over the summer:
- Get an internship: Even if it doesn’t pay money, it will pay dividends later. Internships are a great way to get some exposure to a business or industry in which to work and don’t have to be full-time. For example, I hire high school and college students to help us with simple tasks in my shop like updating a website, taking photos for Instagram at events, etc. But the interns only have to work a few hours per week and the schedule is flexible.
- Open a bank account and get a job: Both of my children are students (one is 16 and in high school and my son is in college) and have jobs. My rule is if you can drive, then you can work. Working over the summer provides an individual with a needed income and adds value on a resume by demonstrating a good work ethic – something all employers want to see.
- Take a summer school class to get ahead or bring up your GPA. Take a class on the ACT if you haven’t already. Make it your summer goal to improve your ACT score.
- Summer is a great time to explore future career goals. Are you a good writer? Submit an op-ed piece to your local paper in support of an issue you feel passionate about. Do you like to perform charity work? Seek volunteer opportunities in your community through a church or local charity.
- Mentor another student or tutor students. Many students struggle through school and need the assistance of student tutors. This is a great way to sharpen your leadership skills!
- Read the newspapers in your community everyday. It is important to know what is going on in the world and, as an employer, I want any students I hire to have a good grasp of business and community issues.
- Shadow a parent or adult you know for a week at their job. Most people will be happy to allow this and it is a great way to get an inside look at how a business runs. Ask questions and gain a perspective of what the workforce is truly like.
- It is never too early to build your online resume. Start a resume on LinkedIn and get someone to review it. Use it as your “running list” of what you accomplish and add to it each year. It will be amazing what you see and will make a big splash when future recruiters, coaches, employers are looking at candidates.
- Read a book in a field you’re interested in studying. I know students don’t like reading, but it is an important thing to do.
- Do some manual labor like cutting grass and yard work. I think students have lost the art of digging in the dirt and we need to teach our students more about growing plants and taking care of the earth.
- Fortunately, in today’s technology driven world, students can benefit by taking advantage of productive jobs and even internships during the summer months. Encourage your child, whether a ninth grader just starting out in high school to a sophomore in college, to get out there and gain valuable experience that will be beneficial to them in the long run.