3 Productive Ways To Spend The Summer Before College

Summer, synonymous with fun, sun and happiness.

Summer can be a good time for some rest and relaxation, but don’t waste your whole summer lounging in the sun. Summer is also a great time to fit in some work that will help you in your near college future.

Here’s a list of some productive ways to spend your summer!


Nothing is better than giving your time to a deserving charity. Get up off of that couch and get out there! There are numerous charities that you can volunteer for. Think of a passion of yours, or even just something you’d like to gain some experience in. Now go to your trusty google search engine and look up volunteer opportunities in your area based around your interests. Some major organizations that are almost always looking for volunteers are:

  • Your local ASPCA or Humane Society
  • Boys and Girls Club
  • Red Cross

There are many smaller organizations that are regionally located, so just get out there and see what your town has to offer. The newspaper is another great resource to see what your area has to offer for volunteering.

You don’t have to stay local to volunteer either! Looking for an excuse to travel this summer? Why not consider a volunteer program such as Habitat for Humanity International? There are countless programs for dozens of interests that are offered for American youths in other countries, projects-abroad.org and vfp.org are two wonderful sites to help you if travelling is the route you’d like to take.

Find a Job

If you’re looking forward to nights out with friends, shopping and pretty much anything else that requires money, you might want to consider finding a summer job. Often businesses will hire young adults seasonally for the summer to make a little extra cash. And not only does working give you some spending money it also teaches you some financial responsibility before you leave the nest for college.

Some great seasonal jobs are:

  • Waitress/waiter (Tips!)
  • Lawn Services (an excuse to be outdoors all day)
  • Barista/Baristo (coffee all day everyday! And again TIPS!)

If you live in a tourist destination you may consider a job in the hospitality industry of your town. Being a tour guide is a fun and easy way to have a job and have some fun.

Enjoy yourself!

You’re about to enter a pretty stressful time of your life. Your first semester of college can be crazy from papers to exams to dorm life, you might find yourself slipping away from your high school friends. That’s perfectly okay, but why not enjoy one last summer with the people you’ve been closest to the past four years.

Take time to make some lasting memories with your friends the summer before you leave for college. Here are some ideas as to how to spend some time having fun:

  • Go on a road trip
  • Go camping
  • Take as many pictures as you possibly can
  • Be crazy and silly

Don’t forget to leave time for yourself too. Find a new hobby or just keep up with an old one. Let yourself experience all that the summer before college brings you whether that be with your friends or by yourself.

Even if you choose to volunteer or find a summer job, don’t forget to enjoy yourself. The summer before college is a unique time, you’re still a kid but also an adult. Make the most of that and just enjoy every last minute of it.

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Chelsea Halstead

Chelsea Halstead

University of Portland junior, Chelsea Halstead, is a Communications and French double major. Chelsea hails from Alaska originally, but calls Portland, OR home now. When Chelsea isn't at school or whipping up a mean latte as a Barista, she enjoys spending time outdoors and attempting to make Pinterest crafts!
Chelsea Halstead

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