9 Productive Summer Activities We Can't Wait to Do!
Written and edited by Nadya Soetomo.
If you want to use this holiday to level-up for the next school year, here are our top summer activities to banish boredom and stay productive!
#1 Start a podcast
If you’ve always been wanting to have your own talk-show without necessarily having to show your face, then starting a podcast might be the right activity for you! If starting a solo channel doesn’t feel right for you, you can always navigate your podcasting journey by collaborating with your school mates like in A Little Bit of Genius.
After you build a team and record your first episode, don’t forget to apply for the Student Podcast Challenge contest to win the chance of having your podcast published on NPR and find a worldwide audience!
#2 Take an SAT diagnostic test
It’s no secret that most US university admission boards require your SAT results. But that doesn’t mean you only have one shot at acing the exam — taking an SAT diagnostic test this summer will be sure to help you improve your score! Diagnostic tests help simulate the real exam experience, including the classroom environment (ie. you will have the test coordinator read out instructions and rules of the official SAT).
“Apply to Millie’s free SAT diagnostic test sessions to improve your score!”
At the end of every test, you can see which sections need improving upon, thoroughly preparing you for your official SAT exam. Interested to have a head start on your next academic year? Apply to our monthly free SAT diagnostic test sessions!
#3 Get to know your personal (student) finance
Due to limited resources about financial literacy from schools and society, many teenagers feel unequipped to make crucial financial choices for their future. To tackle this financial gap, Millie intern Aryav founded the non-profit The Teen Trillionaire — learn more about what personal finance is and how to get started here!
#4 Practice your public speaking skills
Does the idea of speaking in front of an audience leave you at a loss for words? You’re not alone! Luckily, public speaking skills can be practiced and strengthened over time. For starters, you can practice public speaking by conveying your ideas to children, finding someone new to have a conversation with, or even recording yourself to practice your facial expressions and audience engagement levels.
No matter which activity you choose, all of them will help you speak more comfortably and you’ll be sure to notice the nervousness inside you decreasing over time. So don’t worry much if you still feel pressured when presenting to groups of people — Millie’s here to help you ace your public speaking skills!
#5 Plan your personal statement
No good personal statement can be written in a day! Months of planning can go into crafting a personal statement that you’re proud of - so why not get a head start? Take the summer to brainstorm ideas and experiences to use in your personal statement. For a complete guide to planning your personal statement, read Marianna’s tips as a former student at NYU Abu Dhabi and LSE!
#6 Spend time with your loved ones outdoors
Has the academic year left you craving the sun, fruity ice pops, beaches and BBQs? Summer break is the perfect time to get outside and soak up the Vitamin D and reduce your blue light intake. But don’t waste all the goodness with yourself — experience the summer breeze with your family and friends to make some memories together!
#7 Apply for a virtual internship
“Gain real-time working experiences from the comfort of your home.”
Summer during a global pandemic might make it difficult for us to gain experiences that we’d usually have access to in normal circumstances. However, there’s still a bright side! Working from home and virtual internships have become the new norm for companies around the world. All you need is a stable internet connection and a laptop to get started from the comfort of your home. Learn more about how to kick start a virtual internship opportunity from Millie's guide here!
#8 Learn how to play an instrument
Did you know that playing an instrument stimulates both sides of your brain, increases your memory power, improves your fine motor skills and can help to elevate your mood? Developing the skills to play and create music can also help you excel in study disciplines that require coordinated work between brain and muscles such as sports, performing arts and more!
#9 Create and dive into a personalised reading list
The summer is a perfect time to pick up that book you’ve been meaning to finish or start a new book while enjoying the good weather!
Making a habit out of reading books will leave you with stories and perspectives that could elevate your reading and language comprehension. Reading could increase your vocabulary, prepare you for a good night’s rest, build your empathy skills and even reduce stress. Moreover, reading both fiction and non-fiction could enrich your personality with the significant amount of takeaways you have through the (explicit or implicit) morals of a story!
“Reading both fiction and non-fiction could enrich your personality!”
Need inspiration on where to get started? Here’s a list of our favorite books, handpicked by our writers and editors:
- A Walk to Remember by Nicholas Sparks
A heartwarming love story between two opposite personalities, set in the late 1950s. Not only does this book have a deep message about unconditional affection, it shows that being “different” isn’t as weird as it seems.
- Ender’s Game by Orson S. Card
A classic sci-fi book with cool space technology, battle scenes and questions about human nature and war.
- Factfulness: Ten Reasons We're Wrong About the World — and Why Things Are Better Than You Think by Hans Rosling
A non-fiction read that will make you question the way you process information and experience things. “A really great and thought-provoking read!” said one of our writers.
- The Penguin Book of Migration Literature: Departures, Arrivals, Generations, Returns by Dohra Ahmad
This anthology gives readers insights into different experiences of migration. Ahmad curates a selection of works that bring together a variety of voices speaking to the theme of how people relate to the places they leave, arrive at, remember and return to.
- A Field Guide to Getting Lost by Rebecca Solnit
An excellent collection of memory-driven anecdotes about Solnit’s experiences travelling, experiencing love, learning from loss and finding herself in a world of diverse places and peoples.
With all ideas listed above, you’re equipped to get productive throughout your summer break! Whether it’s to play volleyball by the beach or learn how to play an ukulele, do things that both better yourself and make summer enjoyable.
Have a great summer holiday!