How to Have A Successful and Less Stressful Summer
For any high school student, especially those who are just about to enter their last year of high school such as myself, summer can quickly change from a time of relaxation and soaking up the sun to a time of stress and anxiety. From personal experience, I can attest that summer can be both of these things – and whether you experience either one of the emotions regarding the blank canvas that is summer, I have some proven tips and tricks that have led me to stay successful throughout my high school career.
As any driven high school student can tell you, we are often told that our summers should be spent furthering our academic resume in outlets that we find passions in. For me, as an avid actress, I was able to find the perfect compromise my earlier years by spending my summers participating in theatrical productions whenever I could- so that I was able to pursue what I loved in terms of extracurriculars rather than just academically. But as I got older, I realized that summer held so much more potential- a time to continue studies you may consider pursuing in high school surrounded by other like minded peers who share your same passions. I found the perfect program that encompassed all of these ideas in Abbey Road. While another study abroad summer opportunities are more focused on tourism and socialization, Abbey Road is all of that and more – especially due to the academic emphasis it possesses that I was looking for. For me personally, it was important that the organization was a fit for my future academic and career goals- and I found the Western Civilization program to be perfect- considering my vivid desire to study Classical Linguistics and Philosophy as well as Anthropology and Archaeology in college. I hope to take these collegiate goals to the graduate level and eventually work in museum archives, field studies, and education. Considering this program, in particular, would not only support but bolster my passion for these areas of study, I found it to be the perfect fit.
However, it is important to acknowledge that summer opportunities can get a little stressful- especially when you may be participating in multiple different activities such as myself. For me, I have found that the best way to channel this stress is quite the opposite of what some may think it should be- to stay as busy as possible. Summer boredom is often the case for many teenagers, and while others who are always busy may be more prone to stress, it is actually better (from my experience at the least) to continue a path of determination throughout the summer rather than to take a break entirely. It has continued to decrease my ever-mounting stress throughout the school year, as compared to many of my peers I have done much of the work in the summer (such as community service and other extracurricular activities that are required for many colleges, especially things like standardized testing such as the SAT/ACT or any other AP specific tests). Especially as I am preparing to embark on my Abbey Roads journey this summer, here are some things I am planning on accomplishing (as well as some other things I have found helpful) during my time abroad:
Summer Travel Advice
- Always journal about any fantastic experiences you may have- not only do I treasure these moments I have written during my summers, but they provide first-hand experiences and memories to tell my friends and family, as well as further details for college applications (if you plan on using your summer experiences in any essays you may write to apply to any colleges).
- Keep in close contact with the friends you make- I already know that many of the other teenagers I befriend on my trip abroad will be some of the most valued friendships I will ever make, especially considering we will have the memories that no one else will truly understand to reminisce upon when the trip is over.
- Do not overpack (or at least try not to)- as a teenage girl especially this can be very difficult (and I am often the victim of an unnecessarily heavy suitcase) and it is much easier said than done. But it will help not only the cleanliness of your room but your back as well (as you won’t have to lug your massive suitcase with you everywhere you go). Not to mention the fact you will be less likely to lose things!
- UNPLUG! Even in today’s world of social media and the constant dependency of technology that our generation is known for, I cannot emphasize this enough. While at the time it is easy to be glued to a phone to take pictures and listen to music (not to mention communicate with friends and family back home), it will add so much more to your summer experience to be as present in an amazing opportunity that may come your way.
Overall Advice to Have a Successful Summer
- Complete as much of any required community service hours before the start of the school year- you will thank yourself later when the school year becomes overwhelming during the fall and spring.
- Get a jump start on summer homework as soon as possible- especially any reading! It will save you time in the long run and propel you above your peers, as well as further your academic growth immensely.
- Begin doing some college research- this one is mostly for rising juniors and seniors, but I could not recommend it more highly for anyone in high school. Spend time looking into schools that fit your interests, offer your major, specialize in your extracurricular hobbies and interests, and are the right size and location for you. You could even begin to compile a list of these schools to make the application process easier when the time comes, as well as prepare for any college visits that you may want to make in person.