FROM PASSENGER TO DRIVER, a series dedicated to High School Students
Welcome to the first day of your Summer Vacation!
What are doing this summer? The answer usually relates to some nice vacation your parents have planned for the whole family, but that’s not what the question is.
The question is: What are you doing this summer?
It’s similar to the dreaded “What are you going to major in?” question; it’s about you, not your parents, not your teachers, not the college admissions person who will read your application…no, you!
Here are a few ideas to make your summer worthwhile and enjoyable.
Idea #1: START
First thing you need to do is to know where you are—like the map at the mall. Where you are is the first step to get somewhere. Take inventory of the different areas of your life: School/Work, Health, Relationships, and Fun. For each of these, think about which are great and which need some work.
- HOMEWORK: Pick two out of the four areas to work on for the summer.
Idea #2: ACT
You selected two areas on which you want to work; for example, let’s say you selected Health and Relationships. Make some commitments specific to these areas and, STICK TO THEM.
How can you stick to them? Share them with someone, perhaps a parent, write them down, and track your progress. Reward yourself without breaking the piggy bank for sticking and acting on your commitments.
For example, in Health, walk at least 10,000 steps per day, or go to the gym for 30 minutes at least 3 times per week. For Relationships, perhaps you can commit to reach out to 3 people each week that you haven’t spoken with in a while. You can also look up some groups/activities that would bring you in contact with people who have common interests.
- HOMEWORK: In each of two areas, make specific commitments to action and track your progress.
Idea #3: DREAM
What do you like to do? What can you do for a long time without feeling like it’s work (Youtube/Netflix binging excluded)? Use your Google skills to find the careers that include some of these skills. Look up what a day in the life of those careers is like.
- HOMEWORK: Identify at least 5 possible industries/professions/jobs in which you’re interested in finding out more.
Idea #4: BE CURIOUS
Reach out to people in the careers you found in Idea #3—again, parents can help here—and invite them to an iced vanilla latte or drink of their choice to talk about their careers. Ask them how they got started, what they like or dislike about their careers, how their education helped them, and any other advice they may give you. Try to meet people in their workplace—take in the vibe of the workplace, how people dress, the diversity of employees, etc.
- HOMEWORK: Talk to/meet with at least 3 people and write down your thoughts after.
Applying these ideas won’t get you into college, but they will help you know yourself better and make connections with people who could help you in the future.
Keep moving towards the driver seat!