From Netflix Marathons to Test Prep: 12 Recommendations for Your Summer Vacation

Joy Song

Congratulations on surviving the school year and making it to summer! While summer can be filled with spontaneous plans, your future self would also appreciate it if you did some planning too. Below are suggestions and advice from other students for what you can do this summer. 

Rising Sophomores

  1. I did the Girls Who Code program which was free and remote. Volunteer at camps, organizations, or find openings through our internship program.
  2. Take prep classes in weaker subjects or to get a head start in classes you will be taking next year. 
  3. Play tennis, basketball, soccer, swim at your local swimming pool, go on hikes, try doing yoga—stay active with activities that you enjoy.

Rising Juniors 

  1. I took a practice ACT test and practice SAT to figure out which format best fits me. After studying, I registered for a testing date in August, knowing I’d probably take it again.
  2. I tried to hone in on the activities that I’d been doing during the school year, and I know others who started a passion project. You can look for research opportunities, apply to summer programs, create a blog for your writing/art/photography. 
  3. Junior year will be tough. Prioritize building healthy habits in the summer (like eating healthy, sleeping at a consistent time, exercising daily) so you can start off junior year strong. 

Rising Seniors 

  1. Take a college fit quiz using and create a list of 10-15 schools you’re interested in. Schedule trips to as many schools as you can and visit the communities around them.  
  2. Supplemental essays are usually released by colleges in early August, check them out if you’re looking to get a head start on the college application process.  
  3. Spend time with family and friends. My friends and I went to watch the sunrise, had picnics at local parks, and went on the Ellen Farrant Memorial Bikeway to Jones Beach.

Rising College Freshman

  1. I went through my university’s orientation process, which included choosing my residence community as well as registering for classes (check out I spent time packing each weekend and buying things for my dorm. Social media is a good way to connect with people and find potential roommates. 
  2. I worked at the Great Neck Summer School 5-Week Enrichment Program and tutored kids in math. Getting a summer job helped me gain some work experience and build important soft skills.
  3. I relaxed by watching Netflix, playing video games, and reading books. I also wanted to improve my cooking skills so I made a new recipe each week.