Bright Futures is an excellent scholarship for students in Florida. (Sharon Kim)

Classes are over, finals are done and summer vacation is finally approaching. While it’s important for students to take time to relax and enjoy the summer, rising juniors should seek opportunities to stay productive throughout the summer break. As current sophomores go into junior year, the most important year of high school when it comes to college and academics, students at Seminole High School (SHS) wonder what to do over the summer for a better college application come senior year. Students want to enrich their activities over the summer while also having time to enjoy the summer and this article provides the perfect list of summer activities. 

  • Apply for internships.

Summer internships are often an important part of a student’s educational experience and can provide several benefits in terms of furthering your career. Summer internships are important for several reasons, including the ability to offer students hands-on experience in the career field they are interested in. For example, if you want to work as a marketing professional once you graduate college, getting an internship as a marketing intern can provide valuable experience and insight into what this career involves.

  • Apply for a job.

Summer jobs give students the opportunity to explore and establish their work ethic, motivation and determination. Students learn about time management, commitment and how to deal with consequences, which are invaluable lessons for the future. Not only do students learn skills they will need for the future work environment, but it is a great way to make extra money. Popular jobs that students work over the summer are at an ice cream or coffee shop, tutoring organization, or any other job in retail.

  • Volunteer.

The Bright Futures Scholarship for Florida requires one hundred volunteer hours for the highest scholarship awarded to students, and summer can be the perfect time to gain more volunteer hours. Volunteering for only three hours a week every week can already be 36 hours, and more ambitious students at SHS can even volunteer more. IB Junior Aryan Save states: “the summer before my junior year, I volunteered at Orlando Science Center and did eight hour shifts for two weeks.” This hard work paid off for him, because he could focus on other things once the school year started.

  • Study for Standardized Tests

While studying for the SAT and ACT may not be ideal fun summer activities, studying the summer before junior year becomes incredibly convenient. With the free time students have over the summer, studying only once a week can yield positive benefits so that you are ready to take the SAT when it is offered for free at SHS. Popular SAT resources include Khan Academy or buying a test prep book. A high SAT or ACT score opens doors for many students after high school, including acceptance into selective colleges or scholarships.

  • Take College Courses

Taking classes online is also a way to build up future college applications and also boost the Grade Point Average, or GPA, of students. For example, taking Advanced Placement courses (AP) at Florida Virtual School may be challenging, but taking these courses over the summer allows students to leave their schedule for the school year open and have the opportunity to take more classes. An alternative to AP classes is taking dual enrollment courses at Seminole State College (SSC). These dual enrollment and AP credits attained by passing the class and exam can shorten the time spent in college and make college much cheaper. 


These ideas can help have a fun summer while also being productive. This encourages a successful junior year for current sophomores, who need to start thinking about college and future careers.