Productive Things to Do Over the Summer for High School Students

By Eric Eng

By Eric Eng

two female students talking inside a dorm room

Summer break is an exciting time for high school students. It’s a stretch of free time to unwind from the rigors of school and pursue personal interests. But it is also an opportunity to engage in activities that enhance personal skills and productivity. This article explores various productive activities that can help high school students make the most out of their summer break.

Understanding the Importance of Productivity During Summer

The perception of summer as a time for endless fun and relaxation often overshadows the need for productivity. However, the truth is that being productive during summer holds enormous potential for personal development.

The Role of Summer in Personal Development

Summer breaks can be an essential time for learning and growth. They offer an extended period free from regular school schedules, thus providing room for personal exploration and development. This personal development might involve improving skills, discovering new passions, or simply broadening your understanding of the world.

Imagine engaging in activities that bring joy and contribute to your growth during your summer. The possibilities are endless, whether learning a new language, developing your artistic skills, or exploring a new field of interest.

For instance, you could enroll in a summer coding camp to enhance your programming abilities, opening doors to exciting career opportunities in the tech industry. Alternatively, you might volunteer at a local animal shelter, helping the community and gaining valuable insights into animal behavior and care.

Productive activities during summer don’t necessarily have to be strenuous or academically inclined. They can be anything that contributes to your overall personal growth and lets you learn something new while providing enough room for enjoyment and relaxation.

Balancing Fun and Productivity in Summer

There are productive things to do over the summer by maintaining a balance of fun and productivity during summer does not have to be challenging. It’s all about identifying what you enjoy doing and figuring out how to integrate learning into those activities.

For example, a hike through the woods can be a perfect opportunity to learn more about local flora and fauna. As you explore the trails, you can take note of different plant species, observe the behavior of wildlife, and even learn about the geological formations that shape the landscape.

Similarly, a hobby such as painting can be upgraded with a short online drawing class. Learning new techniques and exploring different styles can enhance your artistic abilities and express yourself more effectively through artwork.

Furthermore, summer can be an ideal time to develop essential life skills. You can take cooking classes to learn how to prepare delicious meals, acquire financial literacy by managing a small business venture, or even practice public speaking by joining a local debate club.

Balancing fun and being productive at the same time can make the most of your summer and create lasting memories while investing in your personal growth. Remember, it’s not about sacrificing enjoyment for productivity but rather finding ways to merge the two seamlessly.

Enhancing Academic Skills During Summer

Summer break is a time for relaxation, fun, and an opportunity for students to enhance their academic skills. Students can stay ahead of their syllabus by engaging in various activities and developing a love for learning. Here are some ideas to stay productive and make the most of the summer break:

Reading and Writing Activities

Reading books can be a relaxing yet highly enriching activity for those who enjoy literature. It improves vocabulary and comprehension skills, broadens perspectives, and fosters creativity. Dive into different genres, from classic novels to contemporary fiction, and explore the magical world of words.

Alongside reading, practicing writing can be incredibly beneficial. From penning personal experiences in a journal to writing creative pieces or opinion essays, this activity can significantly refine your writing skills. Let your imagination run wild and express your thoughts and ideas through the power of words.

Additionally, joining a book club or participating in writing workshops can provide a platform for discussion and feedback, further enhancing your reading and writing abilities.

Online Courses and Webinars

Online platforms offer numerous courses across various subjects. These courses range from academic topics like math and science to fascinating subjects such as digital marketing, filmmaking, or even cooking! The flexibility offered by online learning makes it easier to fit learning around other vacation activities.

Furthermore, many organizations host webinars over the summer, providing interesting insights into different professional fields and curiosity-provoking topics, which can be quite enlightening for high school students. From learning about cutting-edge scientific research to understanding the intricacies of entrepreneurship, webinars can broaden your horizons and inspire you to explore new areas of interest.

Moreover, online courses and webinars often provide certificates upon completion, which can be a valuable addition to your academic portfolio and showcase your dedication to continuous learning.

As you embark on your summer academic journey, remember to strike a balance between learning and leisure. While it is important to dedicate time to enhance your academic skills, relaxing, recharging, and enjoying the summer break is equally important. So, make a plan, set goals, and make the most of this time to grow academically and personally.

Exploring Creative Outlets

Summer break is perfect for exploring your creative side and discovering new passions while staying productive. Whether you’re looking to express yourself through arts and crafts or unleash your musical talents, there are endless possibilities to ignite your creativity and make the most of your summer.

Engaging in Arts and Crafts

Engaging in arts and crafts can be a therapeutic and rewarding way to spend your summer. It allows you to express your creativity, get your hands dirty, and maybe even discover a new hobby. The world of arts and crafts is vast, offering a wide range of mediums and techniques to explore.

Why not try your hand at pottery, where you can mold clay into beautiful and functional pieces? You can learn the art of throwing on a pottery wheel or experiment with hand-building techniques. Imagine the satisfaction of creating your own unique ceramic masterpiece!

If painting is your style, there are countless techniques and styles to experiment with. From watercolors to acrylics, abstract to realism, the possibilities are endless. You can start with simple tutorials and gradually develop your own artistic voice.

Embroidery is another fascinating craft that allows you to create intricate designs using needle and thread. With a wide variety of stitches and patterns to choose from, you can turn plain fabric into a work of art. Embroidery can be a calming and meditative practice, perfect for lazy summer afternoons.

Discovering Musical Talents

This might be your chance if you have always wanted to learn a musical instrument. Numerous online courses cater to beginners across a variety of instruments, making it easier than ever to start your musical journey. The options are endless, whether you dream of strumming a guitar, tickling the ivories on a piano, or blowing a soulful melody on a saxophone.

For those who already play an instrument, summer break is the perfect time to hone your skills and take your musicality to the next level. You can challenge yourself with new techniques, learn complex pieces, or even compose your own music. The freedom of the summer months allows you to dedicate more time to practice and explore different genres and styles.

zoomed in picture of people playing the cello and violins

Music has the power to transport us to different worlds and evoke a wide range of emotions. By immersing yourself in the world of music, you can discover new sounds, connect with others through jam sessions or virtual collaborations, and find a creative outlet that brings you joy.

So, whether you choose to dive into the world of arts and crafts or embark on a musical journey, summer break offers the perfect opportunity to explore your creative side. Embrace the freedom to experiment, learn, and express yourself, and who knows, you might uncover hidden talents and passions that will stay with you long after the summer ends.

Physical Activities for a Healthy Summer

Maintaining a healthy lifestyle should not take a break during summer. Staying active can increase energy levels, reduce stress, improve overall health, and make summer fun.

Summer is the perfect time to get outside and enjoy the beautiful weather. There are so many physical activities you can engage in to keep yourself fit and productive during summer.

Sports and Outdoor Games

Joining a local sports team or even just organizing weekly games with friends can keep you active during the summer. It not only provides physical exercise but also cultivates teamwork and communication skills.

Imagine spending your weekends playing soccer or basketball with a group of enthusiastic individuals. The adrenaline rush, the thrill of competition, and the joy of scoring a goal can make your summer truly memorable.

If team sports aren’t your thing, individual activities like swimming, cycling, or yoga can be a great way to keep fit. Swimming is refreshing and a full-body workout that engages all your muscles. Cycling allows you to explore new places while improving your cardiovascular health. And yoga, with its focus on flexibility and mindfulness, can help you find inner peace while toning your body.

Looking for something more casual? Outdoor games like frisbee or jump rope can also be fun and invigorating. Grab a frisbee and head to the park with your friends. Feel the wind in your hair as you throw the frisbee back and forth, challenging each other to make incredible catches. Or grab a jump rope and relive your childhood memories while burning calories and improving your coordination.

Fitness Routines and Exercises

Following an online workout program can be an excellent option if you prefer a structured routine. These programs often offer exercises you can do at home with minimal equipment. Yoga, pilates, and other low-intensity workouts are great for beginners.

Imagine waking up in the morning, rolling out your yoga mat, and following a guided yoga session from the comfort of your home. Feel the stretch in your muscles as you move through different poses, improving your flexibility and strength. Or try pilates, a low-impact exercise that focuses on core strength and stability.

A young woman relaxing in a Yoga mat

Exercising doesn’t need to feel like a chore. Dancing, hiking, or even walking can bring you joy while keeping you fit. Put on your favorite music and dance like nobody’s watching. Feel the rhythm in your body as you let go of any stress or worries. Or explore nature by going on a hike. Enjoy the breathtaking views, breathe in the fresh air, and challenge yourself to different terrains.

So, don’t let your healthy lifestyle take a backseat this summer. Engage in physical activities that bring you joy, keep you fit, and make your summer an unforgettable experience.

Volunteering and Community Service

Volunteering is a wonderful way to spend some of your summer break. Aside from staying productive, it helps you contribute positively to your community or a cause you care about while teaching you valuable skills and building your resume during the summer break.

When you volunteer, you not only make a difference in the lives of others, but you also gain a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction. It is a chance to step outside your comfort zone, meet new people, and learn about different perspectives and experiences.

There are numerous opportunities for volunteering, both locally and virtually. Let’s explore some of the options available to you.

Opportunities for Local Volunteering

Many local organizations look for volunteers over the summer. Check your local community center, animal shelter, library, or food bank. These organizations often rely on volunteers to support their day-to-day operations and provide essential services to the community.

Volunteering at a community center can involve organizing events, assisting with recreational activities, or even tutoring children. You can make a difference in the lives of individuals who may not have access to the same resources and opportunities as you do.

If you have a passion for animals, consider volunteering at an animal shelter. You can help feed, groom, and walk the animals or assist with adoption events. Your love and care can make a significant impact on the well-being of these animals.

For book lovers, volunteering at the library can be a rewarding experience. You can help organize and shelve books, assist patrons with finding resources, or even host reading programs for children. By promoting literacy and a love for reading, you are empowering individuals to expand their knowledge and imagination.

Food banks play a crucial role in fighting hunger and supporting those in need. Volunteering at a food bank can involve sorting and distributing food, assisting with food drives, or even helping with meal preparation. Your efforts can make a direct impact on alleviating hunger in your community.

The tasks might vary from arranging bookshelves to helping at events, but the fulfillment of supporting your community is a universal experience. By dedicating your time and energy to these local organizations, you are actively contributing to the betterment of society.

Virtual Volunteering Options

Plenty of online volunteering options are available if you can’t find local volunteering opportunities or prefer to stay indoors. Virtual volunteering allows you to make a difference from the comfort of your own home.

You can help nonprofits with various digital tasks such as digital marketing, graphic design, website development, or social media management. By utilizing your skills and knowledge in these areas, you can assist organizations in reaching a wider audience and promoting their mission.

Another virtual volunteering option is translation. If you are fluent in multiple languages, you can help translate documents, articles, or even websites for organizations that work internationally. Your language skills can bridge communication gaps and ensure information is accessible to a broader audience.

Some students are doing some community service.

Online tutoring is also a popular virtual volunteering opportunity. Many students around the world lack access to quality education, and by offering your expertise in subjects like math, science, or English, you can help bridge that gap. Virtual tutoring platforms connect you with students who are eager to learn and benefit from your knowledge.

Platforms like VolunteerMatch can connect you with organizations that need your skills and match your interests. These platforms make finding virtual volunteering opportunities that align with your passions and availability easy.

Engaging in virtual volunteering allows you to contribute to meaningful causes, enhances your digital skills, and expands your network. It is an excellent way to make a positive impact globally, regardless of your physical location.


Summer break should not merely be seen as an extended vacation. It’s a unique opportunity for personal development, skill acquisition, and the creation of memorable experiences. By actively seeking productive pursuits in summer, students prepare themselves for future endeavors and create lasting memories. As you engage in volunteering and community service, you can make a difference in the lives of others while also gaining valuable skills and experiences that will benefit you in the long run. So, embrace the spirit of giving back and make your summer break meaningful and fulfilling!

If you need help putting the finishing touches on your college applications,  at AdmissionSight, we have over 10 years of experience guiding students through the competitive admissions process

AdmissionSight can help you put your best foot forward when applying to college this fall. Contact us today for more information on our services.



Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Sign up now to receive insights on
how to navigate the college admissions process.