Last-Minute Summer Planning
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By Chen Liu

The admission results of summer programs are all released now. Do you get rejected by that popular program every Bay Area kid is talking about? When your friends are discussing what they are doing this summer, you realize that it’s too late to sign up for any summer programs…What’s your backup plan?

Admission of summer programs is mysterious—at least more mysterious than college admission. Unless the program releases the data of their admitted students, there is nowhere to acquire such information, so there is no way to predict the outcome though we know in general which programs are extremely selective. Also, due to the unbalanced demand & supply, the acceptance rate of some top/popular programs is terribly low. What can you do if it seems you have to waste another summer?

Community Service

It’s the most common but crucial activity. Summer is the perfect time for those who do not have much time during regular school years. Luckily, there are a lot of places, like local Chinese school, offers summer programs for younger kids, and they are always in need of volunteers.

Short-Term Programs

There are many so-called pay-to-play programs, but “pay-to-play” doesn’t mean they are bad. These programs are always on rolling admission and offer many locations and topics. For the 9th and 10th graders, it’s a great opportunity to explore interests and get more insights into the fields.

Part-Time Job

Challenging but highly valued. You are paid, meaning that you are supposed to take on more responsibilities and expectations. Do NOT just have your eyes on the fancy titles; experiences are more important. You will probably learn more as a waitress at a family-owned restaurant than as a front-desk lady at a big company.

Project of Your Choice

You can always create your own program. Are you not done with your Eagle Project? Use your summer and don’t leave it to the school year. If you plan to major in computer science, why don’t you learn more languages and design an app? If you like music, try to have some mini concerts at senior living centers. Look around, discover issues, find solutions, and carry out your ideas.

Test Prep

Last but not least, check if you are done with all the standardized tests, especially the rising seniors. Make sure that you know what tests, besides SAT I and ACT, are required by the schools you are interested in. It’s the last summer that you can utilize to catch up. As for the 9th graders, don’t feel it’s too early to begin test prep. If you have good academic standing, consider getting the tests done as soon as possible. You can use the results for future summer program applications, and it will certainly make your junior and senior years a lot easier.