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Maybe you have already lined up a summer job and can’t wait for school to end so you can get busy. But maybe you haven’t lined anything up yet and doesn’t have many prospects. Maybe you can’t wait for school to end so you can goof off.
Now is the time to make the summer count.
See the summer as time to devote to a major project of your own choosing. What would you like to learn, what would you like to create, who would you like to meet? What would make the summer not just a break from school but an opportunity to express who you really are?
Any project will do. Don’t think that your project has to be something that looks good on a college resume because anything you do on your own over the summer will look good on a college resume. It doesn’t have to be volunteer work. It doesn’t have to be an unpaid internship. Your summer project could be any in-depth effort. Your ability to dive into a subject, organize yourself, and accomplish goals independently are exactly the sorts of things colleges and future employers look for.
So sit down and make a list. Think big. Remember the woman who set herself the task of cooking every one of the recipes from Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a single year? She not only did the cooking but she blogged about it. The blog became the basis for a book. The book became the basis for a movie. Now no one is saying your summer project needs to end in a movie starring Meryl Streep but a summer project can be multi-faceted. The project and a journal or blog or photo series. The project and interviews of key stakeholders and a white paper sent to the city council. The project and a demo tape or YouTube video.
Now that the tools of production and distribution are attainable via the computer in your home’s den and through free software for blogging, audio editing, websites and teleconferencing, there is no reason for teens to wait for some company to hire them. Every teen can experiment with her dreams right now. Ten weeks of focused effort can lead to wonderful things.
The classic back-to-school essay assignment “What I Did On My Summer Vacation” could describe a watershed moment for you.
The sky’s the limit this summer.
© 2012, Patricia Nan Anderson. All rights reserved.