Summer activities can add a lot to your personal development as well as your resume! Now is the time to start planning.

First, and most importantly, select activities that you will likely enjoy! Yes, catching up on sleep and spending time with friends and family is important, but it is also essential to plan activities that will help you grow, show commitment to learning, and generally reflect who you are. Furthermore, summer is a great time to expand your interests, gain new experiences, or take on additional responsibility, and generally to learn more about yourself. Ultimately, having a good growth experience is key.

While we don’t yet know what the summer of 2022 will look like, now is the time to plan and apply! Many summer opportunities will offer on-line or hybrid options, plus most deadlines are early in the Spring.

Below are examples of concentration areas and sample opportunities. Contact your Milestone College Advisor for a full list of summer activities.



  • Almost any activity works: a summer job at a supermarket, volunteering at the YMCA, starting a community recycling project, or taking an enrichment class, are just some examples.
  • Consider selecting something that you might continue throughout the academic year or exploring a possible career interest. Colleges like to see long-term commitments from students and look for continuity. However, this doesn’t mean you can’t go out on a limb and try something new.
  • Research and apply early. Some programs are free for participants but require lengthy applications, nominations, recommendations, transcripts, and counselor forms. These deadlines might not be negotiable.

Examples include:

Boys and Girls State – State Govt. Immersion – (Requires high school counselor nomination)

Travel/Gap Year/Immersion Opportunities in Israel

National Youth Science Camp (NYSCamp)

FAU Pine Jog’s Climate Ready Program (Grant Funded – Free to participants! Comm. Service and College Credits from FAU)

Lumiere connects students with high level research opportunities and mentors:



  • Stay sharp academically while pursuing something you enjoy. Have fun with it! There are so many special topic programs to choose from. See partial list below.
  • Travel not an option?  Many colleges will continue to offer programs virtually this summer. In some cases, you might be able to earn college credits that you can apply to your degree. If you are looking for a real challenge, colleges like MIT (MIT OpenCourseWare) offer entire courses online, available to anyone as an open educational resource.

Examples Include:

Arizona State Cronkite Institute for Journalism

Yale Young Global Scholars

Florida State University Young Scholars (YSP)- Math & Science (deadline: Feb. 15, 2022)

University of Miami Summer Scholars Program

UNC Chapel Hill Project Uplift/Diversity and Inclusion Summer Program

Tulane Summer Programs (Includes Architecture and Pre-Med/Science)

American University Discover the World of Communication (Media/Journalism)

University of Notre Dame Summer Scholars/Leaders

University of Florida Summer Programs for High School Students



  • Start a Business – You might consider starting your own business. It can be developed from home. Students can demonstrate their creative side by making a website and selling on an on-line platform like Etsy. Alternatively, offering outdoor party planning, playing Disney characters, face painting or babysitting services are a great way to earn some spending money while developing business, marketing, and accounting skills.
  • Work – Colleges value work experience. In fact, one of the supplemental questions on the University of Florida application, specifically, asks about the student’s work experience. Work teaches responsibility, leadership, and time management.
  • Externship/Internship – The difference between an externship and an internship is that an externship is typically an unpaid shadowing of a respected industry professional, while an internship is a paid or voluntary position learning a profession that is hands-on. You might not need to look far for opportunities because your family and friends can be great resources for locating externship/internship opportunities!

Examples Include:

Congressman Ted Deutch Summer Internship Opportunity for rising Seniors

Max Planck Institute for Science Research Internship



  • Learn a new language. Try an App like Duo Lingo, learn sign language, OR learn a programming language. Have you always wanted to create an app or build a website? There are many skills you can teach yourself and you will be able to provide an example of your work!
  • Study a visual art discipline. Try painting or photography or work on your portfolio, slides, recordings, or audition materials if applying for an arts program.
  • Perfect your athletic skills. Form a workout group with your friends. Try volunteering as a group for the YMCA or with sports programs for underprivileged kids like Top Soccer. 

Examples Include:

The New School/Parsons School of Design Summer Program

Rhode Island School of Design



  • Create your resume. Starting your resume early will allow you to identify areas that need to be developed. It takes a lot of thought and a fair amount of time to relay all that you’ve done, and to portray your activities in a compelling way. 
  • The resume is a critical tool in your application process. Some colleges will allow you to upload your resume directly. Otherwise, you will be able to transfer the information from your resume into your applications. The Common Application, for example, allows students to list up to 10 activities and up to 5 academic awards. Your Milestone College Advisor can work with you to develop a great resume!

Don’t forget that things outside of academics have a place here too – if you maintain a heavily trafficked personal on-line presence, for example, you can include it. College applications will allow you to highlight your online presence or provide links to personal websites.

Juniors? Get a head start on your college applications

  • Don’t procrastinate! Start on your applications as soon as you can. Individual colleges or the Common Application typically update their applications and essay prompts over the summer.
  • Starting early will allow you to get plenty of feedback on your essays from your College Advisor. 

Whatever you choose to do this summer, this is a great time to explore, connect with others who have similar interests, and learn something new! Happy Summer!

Don’t forget – For a full list of summer activity ideas, see your Milestone College Advisor!

Christina Assal, Milestone College Advisor

M.A., Certificate in College Planning