Health & Safety

Leveraging Summer Break: How to Plan Summer Activities With College Students

They’ve passed their final exams, cleared out their dorm room, and packed up the car. After a long, hard year at college, your son or daughter has returned to spend the summer break at home.

At this point, as a university parent, you may find yourself wondering “what now?”

With a bit of planning, you can help your college student leverage his or her time away from school to their economic, academic and physical advantage.

Economic – summer jobs and financial planning

Summer break is a great time for your college student to earn money to contribute towards tuition, books, and living expenses. Helping your student become increasingly financially independent is not only helpful to him; it can also help soften the blow college expenses can wreak on the family budget.

Scout local businesses in advance to determine who is hiring, but be sure to avoid the temptation to intervene directly on your son or daughter’s behalf. Pick up a few applications to send to your student at school so she can contact employers prior to summer break to secure a job.

Before summer draws to a close, consider helping your student plan a budget for the next semester.

Academic – summer courses, test preparation, and syllabi review

Research the course offerings of local community colleges. Many offer core coursework for which your son or daughter can receive transfer credit when they return to school. Taking even one course each summer can mean a lighter academic and financial load during senior year.

If your sophomore, junior or senior college student is planning to apply to graduate school, consider arranging to enroll him or her in an appropriate test preparation program. Thorough preparation for these examinations is vital. Books, online courses, and live tutoring are all options to consider.

For an easier transition back to school, your student may want to pick up copies of the syllabi and textbooks for the courses he or she is planning to take in the fall. Using summer break to complete some of the required reading for fall coursework will help decrease the workload that will face him upon return.

Physical – medical and dental appointments, diet and exercise

If your student is like many students, he or she may have neglected routine, preventive health care. After discussing it with your student, offer to set up appointments with her local doctor and or dentist.

Did your student gain the proverbial “freshman (or sophomore, junior or senior) 15”? Weight gain at college is very common. Offer your student nutritious, home-cooked meals if possible. Suggest going for a jog together or playing a round of tennis. Not only will your student feel better when he becomes more active over summer break, but it can also be a wonderful way of renewing the bond with your student.

With some planning and parental encouragement, you can help your college student leverage his summer break time to substantial economic, academic, and physical advantage.

Be sure to connect with University Parent for other great tips on helping your college student succeed.

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