What are you doing this summer?
For some of you - high school seniors - you will be taking advantage of your post-graduation break to take a trip, to daydream about your room in the residence hall, to get in touch with your new roommate and stalk Bed, Bath and Beyond. You've earned some time to relax after the rigors of senior year but please don't forget to clean up after yourselves; parents do not get three months off during the summer.
For high school juniors, the time is fraught with possibilities and the tension of upcoming college applications. What can you do to make yourself look good to admissions officers?
There is no right answer to that question, nor may that even be the most important question. What do you want to do? (OK, so after sleeping round the clock for 48 hours). Summertime is an opportunity to both do something that you enjoy and to flesh out your personal story, the story that we will be reading in your application.
Of course, your transcript is the most important piece of your application because it's an academic record of your activities for 3 1/2 years and colleges want to know that you are challenging yourself and managing that challenge, learning for enjoyment but also pushing yourself to explore areas that may not come naturally. Summer offers an opportunity to follow a passion and continue learning, whether it's with an internship, with travel, with service or jobs (summer camp is a great place for growth!) or with continuing education in a pre-college program.
Barnard, along with many other selective colleges, offers a wide array of summer programs that offer opportunities to explore areas of interest while spending time on a college campus and in New York City with a great cohort of like-minded young women. Do you fancy yourself an entrepreneur? Do you haunt galleries in your spare time? Do you spend endless hours on pointe but wonder if you can turn it into a career off stage? Do you want to stay up late with new friends and discuss politics? Whether your interest lies in the sciences, social sciences, STEM or humanities, we may have a course or two (or ten) that appeal to you. Check out more information here.
Joining Barnard's Pre-College Program or that of any other strong school will not guarantee entry to the school's gates. It does, however, indicate that you have an interest in enriching your educational experience and in spending time at a particular school. When you answer the application question of "Why (this school)?”, participation in college summer programs gives your personal narrative more detail, more heart, and more energy. Those programs also offer you the important opportunity to explore the location, whether New York or anywhere else (is there really anywhere else??) and determine whether it's a good fit for you and whether you can see yourself spending four years in that locale. After all, NYC is not for everyone but isn't it better to discover that before you and your parents/guardians put down your college deposit?
So, spend some time under a tree with a good book and jump into a pool with your friends, but also consider that warm weather doesn't just make your hair grow faster - it also can make your mind grow a bit, too.
Happy Spring everyone!
Be sure to follow Pre-College Program on Instagram @barnardprecollege!