During school terms, students are preoccupied with attending classes and taking part in extra-curricular activities. This has made made exploring interests rather difficult for most students. Although summer vacation is a good time for students to relax and catch up on some much-needed rest, it is worth noting that it shouldn’t just be all about shopping, taking naps and soaking in the swimming pool! Students should make good use of this time to make plans to explore their own interests and development goals.
A fulfilling summer allows students the opportunities to engage in academic interest-related activities in order to better prepare for their upcoming college admissions process. Some of the ways to do that are through reading, watching educational videos, research and internship program.
- Reading. Read, read and read.
Reading is the first step and easiest way to gain more knowledge in your field of interest. Start by reading articles, blogs and other online resources on topics you really love. Interested in international relations? Read the latest news about foreign relations. Do you love fashion? Check out some popular fashion blogs to learn about new trends. To deep-dive into any related topics, the next step will be engaging in academic journals or books which will give you a deeper understanding of the subject area. Maybe you want to learn about a certain topic in fashion, such as fashion during the Rococo period? Look for books and journal articles that cover in-depth information. If you do not have enough time to sit down and read, consider getting an audiobook or podcast. It allows you to go for a run and listen to your favorite books at the same time!
- Watch educational videos
The internet contains a vast amount of resources! For those who are not motivated by reading and would prefer something more interactive, watching videos is the way to go. On YouTube alone, 400 hours of videos are being uploaded by different users every minute!
If you are wondering if a certain subject is your area of interest, you may wish to first check out introduction videos on YouTube that briefly explain what the subject entails. Video content creators come from different backgrounds, ranging from people who work at Silicon Valley to lecturers working at top universities. There are also undergraduate students who are keen to share their first step in working towards that degree. Everyone of them have an interesting story that may benefit you.
- Work on a research paper
Now that you have touch-based on subjects that may be of interest to you, or perhaps you already know where your interest lies, nevertheless, the next step will be to engage in writing a research paper. Come up with a research topic and research questions that are of interest to you. To work on that, look for good resources such as on Google Scholar. Research and papers outside the classroom are excellent ways to learn. Independent research not only demonstrates your research skills, but also demonstrates the knowledge you have learned.
- Take part in an online summer program
With COVID-19, travelling is not easy now. Luckily for students, more and more institutions are offering their programs online without the need to attend a summer program physically. These universities offer credit and non-credit programs. These online programs are offered by Brown, MIT, UCLA, Georgetown, Stanford and many more. They also offer a huge variety of subjects ranging from Pre-med to Engineering.
For students who prefer a more intimate approach, they can consider working 1-on-1 with a professor from selective university. Many students benefit from having a personal mentor who not only guide them in research work, but the mentor will also be able to provide useful real-life insights and render more personal help.