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How to Avoid Wasting the Summer Before Your Senior Year in High School

Read Time 3 mins | Written by: Cairn Admissions

Congrats on finishing up what most people consider to be the hardest year of high school! On top of all your usual homework and after-school activities, you’ve had to study for the dreaded SATs and ACTs and start thinking about which college you’d like to attend. While you may be exhausted from the school year and ready to kick it at the beach, don’t waste your summer before your senior year in high school. Here are a few ways to make the most out of your summer:

Get a job or internship

While it’s true that you have the rest of your life to work, getting a part-time job in the summer is a great way to get some work experience, make some professional connections, and earn some cash.

Working in high school also allows you to get a feel for what you like to do. Try to find a job or internship that will help you figure out what you’d like to do in the future.

  • Interested in business? Work as a sales associate at your favorite clothing store or as an administrative assistant at a local company.
  • Think you like teaching? Apply for positions at a daycare center or as a teacher’s aide.
  • Love ministry? Ask your pastor if you can be an intern at the church or work as a counselor at a Christian summer camp.

Volunteer or serve in ministry

Similar to working at a job or internship, volunteering is a great way to figure out what you may want to do in the future, learn technical skills, and meet passionate professionals in the field. It’s also a great way to devote some time to something you truly care about.

You can make a difference in your community by cleaning up highways or distributing food at a soup kitchen. You can build houses with Habitat for Humanity, take care of animals at an animal shelter, volunteer as a firefighter, go on a missions trip, or serve as a Vacation Bible School (VBS) teacher. The possibilities are endless!

Develop perspective, character, and maturity while providing valuable service to those who need it. Check out for more creative ideas on how to make a difference.

Take a class

If you love learning, consider taking a summer class at your community college. You’ll get a feel for what a college course is like and explore subjects that you’re interested in. For example, if English is your favorite subject in high school, see if you can take a British English or Children’s Literature course at your community college.

If you take courses in English, history, science, or math, you may be able to transfer your credits to your college, which can save you hundreds of dollars later down the road.

Study for the SATs

While you may have already taken your SATs, many students take it one final time during the fall of their senior year. Make the last time count by dedicating the summer to studying. Although the last thing you may want to do is study during the summer, setting aside a couple of hours a day is a small price to pay for the opportunity to attend your dream school.

Visit colleges

Summer is a great time to go on a road trip with your family and visit all of the colleges you’re interested in attending. While you may be able to take a virtual tour or learn about the programs on the college’s website, a college visit is the best way to get a feel for the school and to see if you can imagine yourself there. Not sure what to look for when visiting a college campus? Check out our blogpost “Scheduling a College Visit” and “Top 25 Questions to Ask on a College Visit.”

Summer is a great time to gain some professional skills, get ahead in your schoolwork, or experience something new, so make the most of it!

Cairn University: Walk a Different Path 

At Cairn University, we want to help you stand out in your faith, your career, and your calling. We’re committed to training men and women of character who put their education into practice. Download our eBook to learn more about what you should look for in a Christian college.

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Cairn Admissions

Cairn University is a private Christian university in Langhorne Manor and Middletown Township, Pennsylvania. Founded in 1913, the university has six schools and departments: Business, Counseling, Divinity, Education, Liberal Arts & Sciences, and Music. All students take a minimum of 30 semester hours of Bible classes.