Sep   2013



Summer Program Experience for the College Essay

Freelance Writer
Last Updated: May 19, 2016

So you heard that attending an academic summer program is a great way to show admission officers that you spent your time off from school productively, and now you’re settling back in school after a great summer experience. But don’t stop there! When you grab a latte at the local coffee shop and start brainstorming ideas for your college essay, consider writing about life at your summer program.

What’s the advantage?

  • Writing about this past summer will give admission officers insight into who you are right now, which is what they want to learn from your essay
  • It will show them that you took your summer experience seriously—you didn’t list it just to dress up your application
  • Admission officers will get a glimpse of you outside of the normal high school routine, giving them a sense of the type of college student you might be

Picking a topic

As part of your brainstorming, you’ll want to review the essay options available to you to get a sense of whether your summer experience will work as a great topic for you. Maybe you’ll be able to talk about how your program was a place where you felt perfectly content, or perhaps you felt that some aspect of your summer experience made you truly see a transition from childhood to adulthood. Or maybe not everything went as well as you had hoped at your program, enabling you to discuss how you learned from a failure.

Whatever question you pick, remember this: stay focused on your topic. If you had the best summer of your life, you might be tempted to throw in details about all the great people you met, the new things you learned, and how inspiring your instructors were. Unless these factors are relevant to your central point, edit them out and save them for another writing assignment.

And the best part of writing about your summer experience? You can relive the summer fun and get that burst of inspiration you need to sit down and focus on this important part of your application. So flip through some of your Instagram pics and get writing!

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