100 Summer Activities That Boost Your College Application

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

Female student smiling at the camera.

100 Summer Activities That Boost Your College Application

Summer’s around the corner, and you might be wondering how to make your college application stand out. Choosing the right summer activities can be a game-changer and sets you apart from other applicants.

It’s all about picking activities that showcase your interests, skills, and dedication to personal development. Let’s explore a variety of options, including internships and volunteering, tailored to make a strong impression on admissions officers.

Academic Enrichment

Spending your summer diving into academic enrichment is a smart move. It shows college admissions officers that you’re committed and eager to learn beyond what the classroom offers. These summer pursuits not only deepen your understanding in areas you’re passionate about but also showcase your willingness to take extra steps, making your college application stand out.

a male student sitting and looking at the camera

Here are 10 specific academic enrichment activities:

1. Research Internships

Assisting professors with ongoing research projects in your field of interest offers hands-on experience and deepens your understanding of the subject. Seek opportunities at local universities or through programs like the Research Science Institute (RSI) to make your application stand out.

2. Online Courses and Workshops

Enrolling in MOOCs or webinars allows you to explore new subjects or skills. Platforms like Coursera or edX offer courses from renowned universities, demonstrating your willingness to learn and adapt.

3. Independent Study Projects

Conducting self-directed research on a topic not covered in your school curriculum shows initiative and intellectual curiosity. Document your process and findings to discuss in your application or interviews.

4. Academic Competitions and Conferences

Participating in science fairs, debate tournaments, or attending academic conferences showcases your competitive spirit and dedication to your field. Successes in these arenas can be highlighted as achievements on your application.

5. Summer School Programs

Taking advanced courses at colleges or universities allows you to explore new subjects or earn college credit. Programs like Harvard’s Secondary School Program offer rigorous coursework that can impress admissions officers.

6. Academic Research

Conducting in-depth research and writing scholarly papers on topics of interest demonstrates your ability to engage deeply with subjects and contribute to academic discussions. Publishing or presenting your work at conferences or in academic journals adds significant value to your application.

7. Internship at Think Tanks

Gaining experience in policy research and analysis through internships at think tanks or research institutions showcases your analytical skills and commitment to understanding complex issues. This experience can differentiate your application, especially for courses in political science, economics, or international relations.

8. STEM Summer Camps

Attending specialized summer camps focused on science, technology, engineering, or mathematics offers hands-on learning experiences and exposure to advanced concepts. Programs like MIT’s Beaver Works Summer Institute emphasize teamwork and problem-solving skills, making your application more competitive.

9. College Prep Programs

Participating in programs designed to prepare students for the college application process, such as SAT/ACT prep courses or college essay workshops, demonstrates your determination to excel academically and your proactive approach to ensuring success in the admissions process.

10. Academic collaborations

Working closely with professors on research projects or assisting them with course development and teaching provides a unique opportunity to gain mentorship and in-depth knowledge in your area of interest. Such collaborations can lead to strong recommendation letters and highlight your commitment to academic excellence.


Volunteering is key to a solid college application. It proves you’re committed to helping out in your community and can work well with others. Through volunteering, you let colleges see your compassionate side, your leadership qualities, and the varied experiences you’ll bring to their campus. This gives your application an extra edge.

Group of people working in charitable foundation.

Here are 10 specific volunteering activities:

11. Community Service Projects

Volunteering at local shelters, food banks, or environmental cleanup efforts reflects a hands-on approach to addressing community needs. These experiences not only highlight your initiative but also your concern for societal issues, making your college application more compelling.

12. Volunteer Abroad Programs

Traveling to different countries to participate in humanitarian projects or community development initiatives shows your adaptability and willingness to engage with diverse cultures. Programs like Global Vision International provide credible opportunities to make a difference while gaining invaluable life experiences.

13. Charity and Fundraising

Organizing charity events, crowdfunding campaigns, or donation drives for nonprofit organizations demonstrates your leadership and organizational skills. Highlighting your ability to mobilize resources for a good cause can set your application apart.

14. Tutoring and Mentoring

Providing academic support and mentorship to younger students or peers in need showcases your knowledge and dedication to helping others grow. This activity not only emphasizes your academic strengths but also your compassion and leadership qualities.

15. Virtual Volunteering

Contributing your skills remotely to nonprofits or community organizations through online platforms allows you to make a significant impact from anywhere. This flexible form of volunteering showcases your ability to adapt and contribute in the digital age, a valuable trait for modern college applications.

16. Habitat for Humanity

Volunteering with Habitat for Humanity to help build affordable housing in your community or abroad exemplifies a commitment to solving critical issues like homelessness. This hands-on work not only benefits those in need but also strengthens your application by showcasing your teamwork and compassion.

17. Soup Kitchen Volunteering

Serving meals to people experiencing homelessness at local soup kitchens or food pantries demonstrates your direct involvement in addressing food insecurity. Sharing your experiences in this area can highlight your empathy and commitment to community service on your college application.

18. Animal Shelter Volunteering

Assisting with animal care, adoption events, or fundraising for animal shelters or rescue organizations shows your compassion for animals and willingness to take on responsibility. This type of volunteering can reflect your diverse interests and caring nature to admissions officers.

19. Disaster Relief Volunteering

Joining disaster response teams to provide aid and support to communities affected by natural disasters or emergencies showcases your ability to work under pressure and your dedication to humanitarian aid. Highlighting this experience can underscore your resilience and leadership skills.

20. Hospital Volunteering

Assisting hospital staff, visiting patients, or helping with administrative tasks in healthcare settings demonstrates a commitment to healthcare and community well-being. This experience can be particularly impactful if you’re pursuing a career in medicine or health sciences, showing your early dedication to the field.

Leadership Development

Leadership development is essential for a standout college application. It shows you’re someone who takes charge, motivates others, and makes positive community contributions. Summer leadership activities highlight your preparedness for college challenges and beyond, making your application more appealing to admissions committees.

advertising major students working inside a conference room

Here are ten specific leadership activities:

21. Student Government

Holding positions such as class president, student council member, or committee chair within your school highlights your leadership skills and ability to work effectively with others. These roles offer tangible proof of your leadership qualities and organizational skills.

22. Leadership Camps and Workshops

Attending leadership development programs focused on teamwork, communication, and decision-making skills can significantly enhance your leadership profile. Programs like the National Student Leadership Conference provide a platform to learn and demonstrate leadership in a collaborative setting.

23. Community Events

Planning and executing events like charity walks, festivals, or awareness campaigns showcases your initiative and ability to mobilize and manage resources. These activities highlight your organizational skills and commitment to community service, making your application stand out.

24. Clubs and Organizations

Serving as president or officer of clubs related to your interests, such as environmental club or debate team, demonstrates your leadership in areas you are passionate about. This involvement indicates your ability to lead and contribute significantly to your school’s extracurricular landscape.

25. Peer Mentoring

Mentoring younger students or newcomers to your school to help them navigate academics and social life shows your empathy and leadership. Such programs emphasize your commitment to fostering a supportive community, enhancing your profile for college admissions.

26. Youth Leadership Conferences

Participating in conferences or seminars focused on youth leadership and activism not only broadens your perspective but also connects you with like-minded individuals. These events, such as the Youth Leadership Summit, offer opportunities to develop your leadership skills and network, enhancing your college application.

27. Entrepreneurial Ventures

Starting and managing your own business, club, or community initiative demonstrates creativity, initiative, and the ability to see projects through. This experience showcases your leadership and problem-solving skills, making your application unique.

28. Advocacy and Activism

Leading campaigns or initiatives to address social justice issues or promote positive change in your community shows your passion and leadership in action. Documenting your involvement and impact in such activities can significantly strengthen your college application.

29. Leadership Retreats

Attending retreats or workshops aimed at developing leadership skills and fostering teamwork and collaboration can profoundly impact your personal growth and leadership abilities. Programs like the Rotary Youth Leadership Awards (RYLA) provide immersive experiences that develop your leadership potential and teamwork skills.

30. Charity Drives

Initiating and leading efforts to collect donations or organize events for charitable causes in your community demonstrates your ability to lead and inspire others for a good cause. Highlighting these efforts in your application can illustrate your commitment to service and leadership excellence.

Creative Arts

The creative arts are crucial for enhancing your college application, showcasing your innovative thinking and self-expression. Participating in arts-related summer activities highlights your artistic talents, commitment, and the unique perspectives you’ll add to a college community.

a female painter painting on a canvas

Here are ten specific creative activities:

31. Art Classes and Workshops

Taking classes in painting, drawing, sculpture, or other visual arts mediums helps develop your skills and artistic voice. Local community centers or art schools like the Pratt Institute often offer summer programs that can enhance your portfolio and application.

32. Theater Productions

Auditioning for roles in school plays, community theater productions, or drama clubs showcases your talent and commitment to the performing arts. Participation in reputable theater groups or summer programs, like those offered by the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, can be a strong addition to your application.

33. Publishing and Blogging

Contributing articles, stories, or essays to school newspapers, literary magazines, or online blogs demonstrates your writing skills and ability to engage with a wider audience. Platforms like Medium or school-based publications provide avenues to share your voice and insights.

34. Music or Dance Performances

Participating in school bands, orchestras, choirs, dance recitals, or local performance groups shows your dedication to music or dance. Joining summer music festivals or dance workshops, such as the Interlochen Center for the Arts, can further showcase your talent and commitment.

35. Art Exhibitions

Displaying your artwork in galleries, art shows, or community events allows you to share your creative vision with others and gain recognition for your work. Participating in exhibitions like those organized by the National YoungArts Foundation can add a distinguished element to your college application.

36. Film or Photography Projects

Creating short films, documentaries, or photo essays allows you to express your creativity and storytelling abilities. Engaging in projects like these, possibly through platforms like Vimeo or local film festivals, can demonstrate your technical skills and artistic vision.

37. Creative Writing Workshops

Participating in writing workshops or critique groups helps develop your writing skills and provides valuable feedback from peers and mentors. Organizations like the Gotham Writers Workshop offer summer sessions that can refine your craft and enrich your application.

38. Graphic Design Projects

Designing logos, posters, or promotional materials for clubs, events, or organizations showcases your graphic design skills and creativity. Utilizing platforms like Adobe Creative Cloud for your projects can add a professional touch to your portfolio.

39. Performing Arts Festivals

Participating in regional or national festivals to showcase your talents and compete with other performers highlights your commitment to the performing arts. Events like the Edinburgh Festival Fringe offer unique opportunities for exposure and artistic growth.

40. Art Residencies

Attending artist residencies or retreats to focus on your creative work, collaborate with other artists, and explore new techniques and ideas can significantly deepen your artistic practice. Residencies such as those offered by the Vermont Studio Center provide a dedicated environment for creative exploration, adding a distinguished experience to your college application.

STEM Exploration

Diving into STEM fields over the summer can elevate your college application by showcasing your dedication to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. These experiences tell admissions committees about your passion for innovation, your knack for solving problems, and your readiness for academic rigor. Engaging in STEM-related activities distinguishes you as a candidate eager to push forward in these vital areas.

science, technology, engineering, mathematics

Here are ten specific STEM-focused activities:

41. STEM Camps or Programs

Attending specialized summer camps or programs focused on STEM allows you to explore various fields within science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. Programs like those offered by the National Youth Science Camp provide immersive experiences that can spark your interest and showcase your dedication to STEM.

42. Science Fairs and Competitions

Participating in science fairs, STEM competitions, or hackathons showcases your research skills and innovative projects. Events like the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF) offer platforms to present your work and gain recognition for your achievements.

43. Research Projects with Professors

Collaborating with professors on research projects in STEM fields offers hands-on experience and the opportunity to contribute to academic advancements. This collaboration can lead to significant learning experiences and potentially result in published work or presentations at academic conferences.

44. Internships at Research Institutions

Completing internships or research placements at research institutions, laboratories, or tech companies provides practical experience in STEM fields. These opportunities, available through organizations like the Summer Science Program (SSP), allow you to apply classroom knowledge in real-world scenarios, enhancing your application.

45. STEM Workshops or Seminars

Participating in workshops, seminars, or conferences focused on STEM topics helps you learn from experts and network with professionals in the field. Engaging in events hosted by institutions like the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) or through platforms like Coursera can deepen your understanding and interest in STEM.

46. Coding Bootcamps

Enrolling in coding bootcamps or programming courses helps you develop coding skills and learn about software development and computer science concepts. Bootcamps like those offered by Codecademy or General Assembly provide intensive, practical learning experiences that can strengthen your application by showcasing your technical skills and commitment to learning.

47. Robotics Competitions and Clubs

Joining robotics clubs or participating in robotics competitions, such as FIRST Robotics, allows you to gain experience in engineering, programming, and problem-solving. These activities demonstrate your ability to work in teams, innovate, and apply STEM knowledge in competitive environments.

48. STEM Mentorship Programs

Joining mentorship programs or seeking mentorship from professionals in STEM fields offers guidance and support in pursuing STEM careers. Programs like Million Women Mentors or similar initiatives can connect you with experienced mentors, enhancing your understanding of STEM pathways and enriching your college application.

49. STEM Outreach and Volunteering

Volunteering for STEM outreach programs or initiatives to inspire and engage younger students in STEM subjects showcases your passion for science and your desire to contribute to the community. Engaging in activities through organizations like Science Buddies or local science museums can highlight your leadership skills and commitment to education.

50. Independent STEM Projects

Conducting independent research projects or experiments in STEM fields allows you to explore your interests and develop critical thinking skills. Documenting your process and results, especially if your work is recognized at science fairs or published, demonstrates initiative, creativity, and the ability to conduct significant research independently.

Sports and Athletics

Getting involved in sports and athletic activities over the summer is a fantastic way to beef up your college application. It proves your discipline, teamwork, and dedication to personal health and growth. You show colleges that you can juggle academics and extracurriculars while displaying leadership and perseverance, traits that admissions committees love.

Mens' baseball pitcher throwing the curveball to the batter.

Here are ten specific sports and athletics activities:

51. Intensive Training Camps

Participating in specialized training camps to improve skills in a specific sport, such as basketball or swimming, shows your dedication to excellence and personal development. Camps like Nike Sports Camps offer high-quality coaching and can elevate your athletic profile.

52. Sports Leagues

Joining local or regional sports leagues to compete regularly in your favorite sport illustrates your competitive spirit and commitment to teamwork. This regular engagement demonstrates your discipline and ability to work with others towards a common goal.

53. Sports Coaching

Assisting with coaching or training sessions for youth teams in your community not only showcases your leadership skills but also your willingness to give back and support the development of others. This experience can highlight your role as a mentor and team player.

54. Sports Clinics and Workshops

Learning from professional athletes or coaches in workshops focused on skill development and strategy can provide valuable insights and improvements to your game. These opportunities indicate your commitment to learning and growth in your sport.

55. Off-Season Conditioning Programs

Engaging in strength training, agility drills, or cross-training during the off-season to maintain fitness and improve performance demonstrates your dedication to staying in top physical shape year-round. Programs that emphasize overall athleticism can be particularly appealing on college applications.

56. Sports Tournaments

Competing in regional or national tournaments in your chosen sport showcases your ability to perform under pressure and your dedication to achieving excellence. Highlighting your participation and any accolades received can make your college application more competitive.

57. Sports Officiating

Officiating games or matches for youth leagues or intramural sports programs demonstrates a deep understanding of your sport and the ability to manage game dynamics and enforce rules fairly. This unique perspective on sportsmanship and leadership can enhance your application.

58. Adaptive Sports Programs

Volunteering or participating in sports programs designed for individuals with disabilities shows your commitment to inclusivity and your ability to adapt and work within diverse teams. This experience underscores your empathy and leadership skills.

59. Sports Journalism

Writing articles, broadcasting games, or creating sports-related content for your school newspaper or local media outlets combines your passion for sports with communication skills. This blend of interests can showcase your versatility and initiative on your college application.

60. Athlete Mentoring Programs

Mentoring younger athletes or peers to help them improve their skills, overcome challenges, and excel in sports highlights your leadership and dedication to fostering talent and resilience in others. Such mentoring roles can significantly bolster your college application by demonstrating your positive impact on your community.

Internships and Work Experience

Landing an internship or gaining work experience during the summer can give your college application a serious boost. These experiences show you’re proactive about exploring career options, putting your academic knowledge to the test, and honing your professional skills. They offer solid proof of your interests and capabilities, making your application stand out to admissions committees.

Indian male mentor and latin female young professional sitting in creative office space.

Here are ten specific internship and work opportunities:

61. Internships at Companies or Organizations

Gaining hands-on experience in your field of interest by interning at reputable companies or organizations can set you apart. Look for internships that offer meaningful projects, such as those advertised through LinkedIn or your local chamber of commerce, to maximize this opportunity.

62. Part-time Jobs Related to Your Field of Interest

Working in roles that align with your career goals helps you gain practical skills and insights. Whether it’s in retail, tech, or the nonprofit sector, these experiences show your work ethic and interest in a specific field.

63. Shadowing Professionals

Observing and learning from professionals in your desired field provides a unique perspective on daily responsibilities and challenges. Reach out to local businesses or use platforms like JobShadow to find opportunities that can enrich your understanding and application.

64. Business or Freelancing

Launching a business venture or offering freelance services develops entrepreneurship skills and demonstrates initiative. Use platforms like Etsy for creative projects or Upwork for digital services to showcase your leadership and innovation.

65. Research Projects with Professors

Assisting professors with research projects in your area of interest allows you to gain academic experience and deepen your subject knowledge. Contact faculty members at local colleges or universities to explore opportunities for collaboration, which can significantly enhance your application.

66. Volunteer Internships

Volunteering for internships at nonprofit organizations or community initiatives combines gaining valuable experience with contributing to meaningful causes. This approach not only enriches your application but also demonstrates your commitment to social responsibility.

67. Industry-Specific Training Programs

Participating in industry-specific training programs or workshops sharpens skills and knowledge relevant to your career aspirations. Seek out programs offered by professional associations or institutions like Coursera and LinkedIn Learning to get certified in specific skills.

68. Networking Events

Attending networking events or career fairs is crucial for connecting with professionals in your field and exploring internship opportunities. Engage in events hosted by your local chamber of commerce or professional organizations to build contacts that could lead to internships or mentorships.

69. Remote Internships

Completing virtual internships allows you to gain experience and develop professional relationships without geographical constraints. Online platforms can offer remote opportunities in a variety of fields, showcasing your ability to work independently and adapt to digital work environments.

70. Job Shadowing

Arranging job shadowing opportunities with professionals across various industries can broaden your understanding of different career paths and provide insight into daily professional life. This experience offers a practical perspective on potential careers, adding depth to your college application.

Cultural Immersion

Cultural immersion over the summer can be a real game-changer for your college application. It demonstrates your curiosity about the world, your ability to adapt to new surroundings, and your commitment to understanding different perspectives. These experiences fuel your personal growth and equip you with unique stories that can make your application shine.

national flags of countries from all over the world

Here are ten specific cultural immersion activities:

71. Study Abroad Programs

Participating in immersive study abroad programs allows you to explore new cultures, languages, and perspectives. Programs like those offered by the Council on International Educational Exchange (CIEE) can enhance your global awareness and academic profile.

72. Cultural Exchange Programs

Living with host families or participating in cultural exchange programs, such as those organized by AFS Intercultural Programs, offers an authentic experience of daily life in a different country. This direct cultural engagement demonstrates your openness and adaptability.

73. Language Immersion Courses

Enrolling in language immersion courses or language schools abroad, like those offered by Goethe-Institut for German or Alliance Française for French, significantly enhances your language skills and cultural understanding. Highlighting your language proficiency on your application can be a strong asset.

74. Volunteering Abroad

Traveling to different countries to volunteer for community development projects, conservation efforts, or humanitarian initiatives shows your commitment to making a positive global impact. Organizations like Projects Abroad provide structured opportunities to contribute while gaining valuable international experience.

75. International Internships

Completing internships or work placements abroad offers professional experience and cultural insights in a global context. Securing internships through platforms like Global Experiences can differentiate your application by showcasing your practical skills and international exposure.

76. Homestays

Staying with host families during travels abroad provides a deep dive into local customs, traditions, and everyday life. This intimate experience with cultures different from your own showcases your adaptability and eagerness to learn from others, enriching your college application.

77. Cultural Festivals and Events

Attending cultural festivals, celebrations, or events in different countries exposes you to local traditions, arts, and cuisines. Experiences like the Rio Carnival in Brazil or the Diwali Festival in India demonstrate your appreciation for global diversity and can provide colorful narratives for your application.

78. Historical and Cultural Tours

Participating in guided tours or excursions to historical sites, museums, and landmarks offers insights into the cultural heritage of different regions. This educational exploration underscores your interest in history and culture, adding depth to your academic profile.

79. Service Learning Trips

Combining volunteer work with cultural immersion through service learning trips emphasizes your commitment to community service and cultural exchange. Activities like those offered by the UCLA Summer Global Leadership Program provide structured experiences that foster personal growth and social responsibility.

80. Experiential Learning Programs

Engaging in hands-on learning experiences, such as cooking classes, traditional craft workshops, or music and dance lessons, allows you to immerse yourself in local culture and traditions. These activities demonstrate your willingness to learn and participate actively in diverse cultural settings, making your application stand out.

Outdoor Adventures

Outdoor adventures during the summer offers a unique edge to your college application. These activities show you’re open to challenges, value the environment, and can collaborate well in varied settings. Participating in outdoor experiences signals to colleges that you’re an all-rounder, with a wide array of interests and skills.

Group of four hikers with backpacks walks in mountains at sunset

Here are ten specific outdoor activities:

81. Wilderness Expeditions

Participating in multi-day hiking, camping, or backpacking trips in remote wilderness areas develops your outdoor survival skills and resilience. Programs like Outward Bound offer guided expeditions that can strengthen your leadership and teamwork abilities, making your college application more robust.

82. Camping and Hiking Trips

Organizing or joining camping or hiking trips to explore national parks, forests, or scenic trails allows you to appreciate nature’s beauty. These experiences can showcase your initiative and passion for the outdoors, adding a unique dimension to your application.

83. Environmental Conservation Projects

Volunteering for conservation organizations or participating in environmental cleanup efforts helps protect and preserve natural habitats. Involvement in projects with groups like the Sierra Club demonstrates your commitment to environmental stewardship and community service.

84. Outdoor Leadership Programs

Attending outdoor leadership programs or wilderness training courses teaches navigation, wilderness first aid, and leadership skills. Programs such as those offered by the National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) can highlight your ability to lead and manage teams in challenging environments.

85. Adventure Travel Experiences

Embarking on adventure travel experiences such as whitewater rafting, rock climbing, or zip-lining challenges yourself and builds confidence. These activities not only provide thrilling experiences but also exhibit your adventurous spirit and ability to tackle physical challenges, traits that are appealing in a college applicant.

86. Outdoor Sports Competitions

Competing in outdoor sports competitions such as trail running races, mountain biking events, or orienteering races tests your skills and endurance. Participating in events organized by organizations like USA Orienteering or local trail running clubs can add a competitive edge to your application, showcasing your commitment to personal fitness and outdoor sports.

87. Nature Photography or Videography

Exploring outdoor photography or videography captures the beauty of nature and shares your experiences with others. Engaging in this hobby, especially if your work is showcased in exhibitions or online platforms like Instagram, can highlight your artistic talents and deep appreciation for the natural world.

88. Ecotourism Trips

Participating in ecotourism trips or eco-adventures educates you about sustainable travel practices and environmental conservation efforts. Trips organized by companies that emphasize eco-friendly practices can demonstrate your interest in sustainability and responsible tourism.

89. Outdoor Education Programs

Enrolling in outdoor education programs or wilderness schools teaches you outdoor skills, environmental science, and conservation principles. Programs like those offered by the Wilderness Awareness School or similar institutions can enrich your understanding of the environment and underscore your commitment to conservation.

90. Outdoor Exploration Clubs

Joining outdoor clubs or groups focused on activities such as birdwatching, stargazing, or geocaching connects you with nature and like-minded enthusiasts. Participation in these clubs not only enriches your knowledge and appreciation of the outdoors but also demonstrates your ability to engage with a community of interest, adding depth to your college application.

Personal Development

Focusing on personal development through summer activities is key to a rounded college application. It highlights your eagerness for self-improvement and a broad spectrum of interests. These experiences emphasize your desire to learn and evolve beyond the classroom, spotlighting your creativity, leadership, and resilience.

Thinking student sitting and holding a book in the park.

Here are ten specific personal development activities:

91. Personal Projects

Undertaking personal projects such as writing a book, creating a podcast, or developing a mobile app showcases your creativity and initiative. These projects can significantly bolster your application by demonstrating your ability to see complex projects through to completion.

92. Skill Development Courses

Enrolling in skill development courses or workshops to learn new skills such as cooking, photography, graphic design, or coding illustrates your commitment to lifelong learning. Platforms like Udemy or Coursera offer a wide range of courses that can enhance your skill set and make your application more diverse.

93. Mental Health and Wellness Retreats

Participating in mental health and wellness retreats or workshops to learn coping strategies, mindfulness techniques, and stress management skills indicates your commitment to personal well-being. This can reflect positively on your application by showing that you value balance and self-care.

94. Travel

Traveling to different countries or regions to immerse yourself in diverse cultures, traditions, and perspectives broadens your worldview. This experience demonstrates your adaptability and openness to learning from others, qualities that are highly valued by colleges.

95. Leadership Development Programs

Participating in leadership development programs or workshops enhances your leadership skills, communication abilities, and teamwork. Programs such as those offered by the Dale Carnegie Training or local leadership workshops can provide valuable insights and experiences that enrich your college application.

96. Volunteering for Community Service

Volunteering for community service projects or initiatives showcases your willingness to give back and make a positive impact. This engagement demonstrates your empathy, social responsibility, and ability to work towards the betterment of others, making your college application stand out.

97. Personal Finance Management

Taking courses or workshops on personal finance management to learn budgeting, investing, and financial planning skills prepares you for financial independence. Platforms like Khan Academy or local community colleges that offer finance education can enhance your practical knowledge and demonstrate your commitment to personal growth.

98. Entrepreneurial Endeavors

Starting your own business, launching a startup, or freelancing provides real-world entrepreneurial experience and develops business acumen. Highlighting these endeavors on your application can showcase your initiative, creativity, and the ability to navigate challenges.

99. Health and Fitness Challenges

Setting and achieving health and fitness goals, such as running a marathon, completing a fitness challenge, or adopting a healthier lifestyle, reflects your dedication to personal well-being and discipline. These achievements can add a unique aspect to your application, showing colleges your commitment to setting and meeting personal goals.

100. Cultural Immersion Experiences

Participating in cultural exchange programs, studying abroad, or living in different countries to broaden your cultural awareness and global perspective demonstrates your adaptability and openness to learning from diverse experiences. Programs like Rotary Youth Exchange or studying abroad through your school can provide valuable insights and stories that enrich your college application.

How do summer activities boost my college application?

Participating in diverse summer activities demonstrates your initiative and commitment to personal and academic growth, boosting your college application. Admissions officers value candidates who engage in activities beyond academics, as it showcases a well-rounded profile that aligns with the values of the institution.

A student looking for their university to apply for

Engaging in summer activities that align with your interests and goals allows you to showcase your strengths and interests outside the classroom. By strategically selecting activities that highlight your skills and passions, you can present a compelling narrative of your readiness for college life and contribute to the vibrant campus community.

What should I consider when selecting summer activities?

When selecting summer activities, consider their relevance to your interests and goals. Choose activities that offer opportunities for personal growth, skill development, and meaningful engagement.

Additionally, prioritize activities that align with your long-term aspirations and showcase a diverse range of experiences and achievements. By thoughtfully selecting summer activities, you can boost your college application and present a compelling narrative of your readiness for higher education.

What summer activities look good on college applications?

Colleges seek applicants who demonstrate a commitment to personal and academic growth through summer activities. They value engagement in diverse activities that showcase leadership, community involvement, and a passion for learning. Candidates who participate in activities aligned with their interests and goals stand out to admissions officers.

Engaging in activities such as volunteer work, internships, academic enrichment programs, and leadership roles demonstrates your readiness for college life and contributes to a well-rounded profile. Admissions officers look for candidates who actively pursue opportunities to develop their skills and contribute to their communities, reflecting the values of the institution.

What challenges can arise during summer activities and how do I overcome them?

Challenges during summer activities may include time management issues, financial constraints, and unexpected setbacks. To overcome these challenges, prioritize your commitments, create a realistic schedule, and seek support from mentors or peers. Additionally, explore opportunities for scholarships or financial aid to alleviate financial barriers.

Maintain a positive mindset, adaptability, and resilience in the face of challenges. Use setbacks as opportunities for growth and learning, and don’t hesitate to seek help or advice when needed. By overcoming challenges effectively, you demonstrate your maturity, problem-solving skills, and readiness to navigate the demands of college life.

How many summer activities should I pursue to boost my college application?

The number of summer activities you pursue should reflect quality over quantity. It’s essential to select a manageable number of activities that allow you to fully engage and make a meaningful impact. Rather than focusing on quantity, prioritize activities that align with your interests and goals, allowing you to showcase your strengths and passions effectively.

Strive for depth and significance in your chosen activities, demonstrating dedication, leadership, and personal growth. Admissions officers value depth of involvement and impact over sheer quantity, so focus on activities that allow you to make a meaningful contribution and present a compelling narrative of your readiness for college life.


Summer activities play a crucial role in boosting your college application. By engaging in diverse and meaningful activities, you showcase your readiness, initiative, and commitment to personal and academic growth.

Remember, it’s not about the number of activities you pursue but the depth of your involvement and the impact you make. Choose wisely, invest yourself fully, and let your passions shine through, painting a vivid picture of your potential to thrive in college and beyond.


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