Summer is not quite here yet, but many teens are thinking about what they can do to prepare for high school. While summer should be a time for relaxing and having fun, it can also be a time to work towards your goals.

By Wendi Ostroff

For some students, they look forward to a fresh start at a new school, a time to be productive, and are eager for new opportunities. The following are a few things to help get them started.

  • Do your community service. There are an endless number of programs to get involved with over the summer and throughout the year: a summer camp, the public library, homeless shelter, local hospital, food bank, an animal shelter. Helping in the community doesn’t just mean doing the minimal number of required hours, but can and should be many more, especially if it’s participating in something of interest.
  • Think about the classes you want to take and make a draft 4-year plan. Find out what the requirements are for graduation and plug in what’s needed to take and when. If it states 2 years required and 3 years recommended for a specific subject, such as language, and for a more rigorous path, take the recommended path. Also, check the college requirements as well, such as the UC a-g requirements.
  • Take a summer class at the local city college. Summer is a good time to stay academically engaged. It can also mean getting ahead and making the school year less intensive. This could include a language class, math or science or a new elective to enhance your transcript with courses in an area of interest. It could also help keep you engaged in academics and help to prevent the “summer slide”.
  • Learn something new- garden, cook, try a new sport. Summer is a good time to check out new activities and enhance interests. Always wanted to learn how to sail? Take some lessons. Try an art class or have a go at drawing. Be creative. Think of some ways to earn a little money. Cook 3 meals. Go camping. The options are limitless for expanding the horizons.
  • Start getting organized. Being that there’s usually extra down time over the summer to get things done, be productive and set up a new homework space. Get a planner and commit to writing down all assignments. Work on your typing skills if they need improvement. Buy some school supplies in advance and if your school gives reading assignments over the summer, don’t save them until the week before school starts; work on them over the summer.
  • READ, READ, READ. This cannot be emphasized enough. The value of reading goes without saying and it can be any content that’s enjoyable.
  • Jump into a high school activity, such as a fall sport or participate in marching band. This is a good way to meet new students and to be involved. It can be something new, or continuing with an existing sport. Explore the school’s website and see if they list all the clubs and programs. Take a walk around the campus to become familiarized with where everything is located.

Remember to maintain balance all year long. Summer can be a good time to refocus and be productive as well as recharge your battery, sleep late, dream, and enjoy family and friends.