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Articles / Preparing for College / Avoiding Summer Boredom

Avoiding Summer Boredom

Dave Berry
Written by Dave Berry | July 19, 2016

Students, would you yell at me if I said that summer is winding down? Technically, "Summer" has been underway for just under a month, but, here in the just-past-midpoint of July, we can see August on the doorstep.

August is the month for many to return to (or begin) college and even some high schoolers will get back to classes before September 1. You might be asking yourself, "What have I accomplished so far since the past school year ended?"

Take an inventory. Have you been working a job? If so, great! Maybe it will continue right up to when classes resume for the upcoming school year. Have you been traveling? If you have, I hope that your horizons and worldliness have expanded.

If you're a rising high school senior, maybe you've been doing some test prep or getting a jump on your college applications. That's time well spent. Perhaps part of your college prep has included campus visits. While summers are usually quiet times for colleges, it's still crucial to "Trod the sod!" as I always say.

However, and this is more common than it should be, maybe you've run out of constructive enterprises (or maybe you never had one) since school let out, and you're spending most of your day and night wandering around playing Pokemon Go and watching Friends reruns. In case you don't realize it, you're bored!

So, what can you do about that? How can you make the remaining days (daze?) of summer contribute to the advancement of your overall academic/intellectual/satisfaction profile?

Don't worry, I'm not going to try to shame you into doing something pretentious or what appears on the surface to be "important." I did a little research and found some excellent suggestions that just may appeal to you and not only lift you from the State of Boredom (which is a few miles northeast of Texas) and stimulate your cerebral cortex (speaking of Texas).

What am I talking about? Have you ever heard of a little thing called reading? One of the best ways to escape the drab drag of yet another day channel surfing, texting, and avoiding chores at home is to grab a good book and dive in. If you're not an avid reader yet, you may be surprised at how fast you can get hooked on what you may have formerly viewed derisively as "literature."

Are you willing to consider this? I might add that you don't have to be a high schooler to benefit from this approach. If you have a younger brother or sister who seems to be bored along with you, feel free to share the following wisdom.

Ready? Let's do it!

Here are six excellent lists for your consideration:


Your Ultimate Summer Reading List

If you hate to be seaside (or lakeside or poolside or anything-side) without a book in hand, you've landed in the right place. Here, great beach reads recommended by notable authors and experts. ...

ALSC Summer Reading Lists - 2016

ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee has updated our Summer Reading Lists with new and exciting titles!

The lists are full of book titles to keep children engaged in reading throughout the summer. Four Summer Reading book lists are available for Birth-Preschool, K-2nd, 3rd- 5th and 6th-8th grade students.

Each list is available here to download for free. Lists can be customized to include library information, summer hours and summer reading programs for children before making copies available to schools and patrons.

Titles on the 2016 Summer Reading List was compiled and annotated by members of ALSC's Quicklists Consulting Committee. ...

Summer Reading Lists

[Lists for teachers that can apply to you, too.] Vacation time is the perfect time to read, read, READ! Check out these lists of super-entertaining books, from classics to fun picks, for you and your students. Enjoy our slideshows on summer reading to find the best of the best children's literature for your students: ...

A Collection of Firsts

[From UC Berkeley]:

Welcome to you, incoming Golden Bears!

You're about to arrive for your first day of classes at Berkeley. Perhaps it will be your first time away from home. Maybe you're the first one in your family to go to college. Whatever your background and experience, you're sure to have plenty of “firsts" during your time here. In that spirit, we send along this year's edition of the UC Berkeley Summer Reading List for New Students, which includes some fantastic reading recommendations, centered on the theme of “Firsts," that have been selected for you by Berkeley faculty, staff, and your fellow students.

This eclectic list of non-required readings is offered as a gift each year to incoming students; we encourage you to share it with your peers. (Click here to see past years' lists.) Whether you dip into one of these as you make preparations to leave for Berkeley or track them down in Cal's vast library collections once you arrive, we're sure you'll find something here to pique your interest so that you can experience that “first" that remains evergreen: the pleasure of a being a reader enjoying a new book ...

Summer Reading Booklists

Reading Rockets' annual summer booklist makes it easy to find great books kids will enjoy during the long, lazy days of summer. This list can be a springboard for helping your kids choose books on topics that pique their curiosity — that's what really motivates children to want to read! ...


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Written by

Dave Berry

Dave Berry

Dave is co-founder of College Confidential and College Karma Consulting, co-author of America's Elite Colleges: The Smart Buyer's Guide to the Ivy League and Other Top Schools, and has over 30 years of experience helping high schoolers gain admission to Ivy League and other ultra-selective schools. He is an expert in the areas application strategies, stats evaluation, college matching, student profile marketing, essays, personality and temperament assessments and web-based admissions counseling. Dave is a graduate of The Pennsylvania State University and has won national awards for his writing on higher education issues, marketing campaigns and communications programs. He brings this expertise to the discipline of college admissions and his role as a student advocate. His College Quest newspaper page won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award, the Pennsylvania Newspaper Publisher's Association Newspapers in Education Award, the Thomson Newspapers President's Award for Marketing Excellence and the Inland Press Association-University of Kentucky School of Journalism and Mass Communications Inland Innovation Award for the Best New Page. His pioneering journalism program for teenagers, PRO-TEENS, also received national media attention. In addition, Dave won the Newspaper Association of America's Program Excellence Award for Celebrate Diversity!, a program teaching junior high school students about issues of tolerance. His College Knowledge question-and-answer columns have been published in newspapers throughout the United States. Dave loves Corvettes, classical music, computers, and miniature dachshunds. He and his wife Sharon have a daughter, son and four grandchildren.

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