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Wednesday, June 7, 2023

Summer: Time to Shine or Time to Recline?


Summertime and the living is easy! Or is it?

Those song lyrics reflect well the casual attitude most teens take to summer break. That's understandable. However, summer time is prime time for teens to shine, to prepare to take their game to the next level. Here are a few ideas:

1. Leading a club? Prepare to have the Best Year in Club History

Take time over the summer to create a vision for your group. How many members do you want to add to your group? What are some ways to attract new members? Brainstorm a few activities and events you can do to help students learn about your group, what you do, and how they can benefit from joining. Once new students join your group, what sorts of training, encouragement, and activities do you need to have in order to retain them? As you consider that, think about how you can develop new leaders, both to help you this year but also to take over once you graduate. What sorts of leadership skills do you need to develop? What resources are available at your school and in your community to develop those skills? Leverage businesses in your area for internships, to invite guest speakers, and host off campus events to deepen your members' knowledge base and to add a bit of pizzazz. 

2. Prepare to start a Club 

What are you interested in doing or knowing more about? If there isn't a club or group at your school or in your community that is doing that, start one. Starting a group takes planning, persistence, courage, and perseverance. Research similar groups and borrow ideas from them. Create a timeline. See what is involved to start a group. Schools typically have protocols and procedures which must be followed. You will need to recruit adults, find a meeting place, create a vision or mission statement, and schedule events. Your vision should include your group's purpose, how many students you hope to attract the first year, the officers/roles of responsibility you will have and the tasks each will perform for the group, your budget and fund raising plan, as well as activities and events for the first year. Your school's academic calendar will show when the terms end and what days school will be in session and which days will be holidays. If you homeschool, putting together a school calendar can help the family's school year run more smoothly. 

3. Prepare to Ace your Classes

In AP classes, as in college, students are expected to read the chapter(s) and assignments before the lectures. This rhythm, when followed, enables students to learn the material more deeply. Students arrive to class with some understanding of the material, perhaps even with questions about confusing information or ideas about how this material correlates with information learned previously. Students are then prepared to deeply receive the lecture, engage in interesting and meaningful discussion of the material, and ask pertinent questions, having identified material they found confusing. Take time over the summer to use  online and library materials to prepare for your most challenging classes. Even if the best you can gain is an overview understanding, you will be prepared to master the material more effectively and efficiently during the school year. In order to be successful, create a schedule for yourself. Otherwise, you are unlikely to get very far with the good intention of reading and learning ahead of the first day of school.

by Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS, Founder Celtic College Consultants
For information about our holistic college preparation services or to schedule an initial family consultation with Katherine, please visit our website:

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