What to do on summer vacation

By Christal Holmes, admissions counselor for marketing and recruitment
View Christal’s bio ยป

I’m sure that everyone will agree that after a long year of studying for tests, writing papers and completing projects and homework assignments, it’s time for a break! Although summer is a time to relax and enjoy being out of school, it is also a great time to start thinking about your plans for the upcoming year(s) and about ways to prepare for college.

Rising freshmen and sophomores

  • Make a list of your interests, possible careers and the types of activities and classes that you enjoy.
  • Sophomores: start looking at the classes that you will take during your junior year and plan to attend college fairs in the fall.
  • Begin researching schools online and make an initial list of places that interest you.

Rising juniors

  • Review the classes that you’ll be taking during the upcoming year and start thinking ahead about your senior-year schedule. 
  • Revisit your list of colleges and narrow them down based on your current interests. Consider the size, location and programs offered at each school. 
  • Talk with your parents about their expectations during your college search and get an idea as to how much they will be able to contribute to your education. 
  • Continue to research schools on the Web and sign up to get more information about them; you also may follow many schools on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. 
  • Begin visiting schools of interest.

Rising seniors

  • Continue (or begin) your college visits. Be sure to bring your questions, walking shoes and a camera to document each of your visits.
  • When you get home, sit down with your family and discuss your visits and see if you can see yourself at that school for the next four years of your life.
  • Write down your thoughts about each school. Your notes and pictures will be a big help when it’s time to make your final decision.
  • Prepare to start the application processes for both college and scholarships. Make a list of scholarship and application deadline dates and consider whether or not you plan to apply early decision or early action to any of your choices. 
  • Find the answers (start thinking about the answers) to the following questions:
  • Who will you ask to write your letters of recommendation?
  • Do you have an updated copy of your resume of activities, honors, leadership positions and job experiences?
  • Have you registered for the SAT?
  • What available scholarships do you qualify for and when are the deadlines?

Visit VCU

We host information sessions Monday through Friday at 10:30 a.m., except on holidays and holiday weekends. Sessions take place at the Welcome Center, located at 1111 W. Broad St., and are followed by an hour-long walking tour of the Monroe Park Campus. Learn more about visiting campus and check out our interactive campus tour.

Have a happy and safe summer!