With June right around the corner, the school year is officially about to be over in a short few weeks. With long days, warm weather and a more relaxed day to day schedule, summer break can be a very productive time for high school students. Many take advantage of this window of time to achieve their academic as well as non-academic goals. The following are a few suggestions for those of you looking for ideas and inspiration to plan your summer:
- Read Up: Reading is an important element of literacy; it helps you build vocabulary, improve your grammar, learn about the world, exercise your imagination, and have a topic for conversation. It is also perhaps one of the least expensive adventures you can embark upon this summer. Whether you enjoy readings classics such as The Great Gatsby, or like fantasy novels such as the Harry Potter series or are more interested in reading thought-provoking pieces such as Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale or George Orwell’s Animal Farm, reading keeps you informed, entertained and connected. Lastly, you might be able to use your summer readings in the completion of an English course during high school. Whatever the reason, this summer, take the time to visit a library and enjoy reading a book or two. Here is a suggested list.
- Volunteer: Knowing that students will have more free time during summer, many organizations offer their most attractive volunteer opportunities during this frame of time. In addition to being an Ontario Secondary School Diploma (OSSD) requirement, volunteering allows you to travel, meet new people, practice life skills such as teamwork and communication, make great memories and gain valuable experiences. You can find volunteer opportunities across Canada by clicking here.
- Learn a Language: With a less demanding schedule, learning a language can be a fun way to spend your summer. Whether you need French as a graduation requirement or simply enjoy building language competence and confidence, taking a flexible summer Online French course can be a valuable long-term investment. Many of the American colleges and universities require at least two years of foreign language study as part of their admission process. Knowing a second language can also enhance your career opportunities.
- Learn to Cook: Knowing how to make a nutritious meal is an important life skill. While during your high school years, your parents might do the majority of meal planning, things are likely to change as you leave home for your post-secondary studies. To prepare a healthy meal, you need to have a basic understanding of nutritional science. In addition, you need to have some cooking skills and be aware of food and kitchen safety practices. Watching youtube, finding recipes online and reviewing cookbooks are a great way to start learning but might not suffice. The Nutrition and Health (HFA4U) online course gives you a comprehensive understanding of how to prepare healthy meals. The course teaches you about the main nutrition groups, how much of each you need to consume on a daily basis and requires you to roll your sleeves up and make a meal or two based on what you learn in the course. Sure, maybe your first few tries do not turn out to be fantastic, but you will be on the right path to cook healthy foods.
- Part Time Employment: Summer is a great time to beef up your resume. A quick look at the job search engines and you will come across many summer part-time positions. Many of them offer reasonably flexible work schedule, fair pay, training or mentorship and most importantly the experience and perhaps a reference worth adding to your resume. Regardless of what type of position you are applying for, make sure that your resume is up to date and is a true representation of your knowledge, experience, and skills. Submit a custom cover letter for each position and practice your interview skills. For those of you who have completed the Grade 10 Career Studies, consider reviewing and reflecting on some of your job-related learnings of that course.
- Go Out and See the World: Whether it is flying to a different country or going on a road trip to another province or exploring a local neighborhood, summer is the best time to be outside, connect to people, enjoy the sun and explore life. So much can be learned outside the classroom and through observing people, talking to them, listening to their stories, interacting and being part of a community. Afterall, life is not lived in a classroom, it is lived in the real world. So this summer, take your map out, volunteer in a new neighborhood, buy groceries and cook something healthy for your family, practice your French with friends, write a journal about the book you are reading and make some money for new adventures. Summer is filled with opportunities, plan ahead!