Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - January/February 2011 - (Page 41)
Planning Ahead for College
residential summer Programs
if it looks like winter outside your window, it may seem too soon to worry about what you will do this summer. But program deadlines are looming, so you need to be thinking about it. every year there are more and more wonderful options for summer activities and learning, including internships, classes at your local college, volunteering in your community, and travel to interesting places. these are all great opportunities. But if you have never attended a residential academic summer program on a college campus, think seriously about doing so this summer. in addition to offering you an in-depth academic experience, living and studying on a college campus will help prepare you for college.
by linda E. brody, Edd
life on a College Campus
residential programs offer you a chance to taste college life. You’ll live in a dorm with other students, eat with them in the dining hall, and engage in late-night conversations. Living away from your family for a few weeks can help you develop self-reliance and independence in preparation for living away from home as a college student. You’ll be responsible for your personal needs, from doing your laundry to managing your spending money. assignments need to be done on time, and you won’t have your parents nudging you. You’ll need to deal with the social distractions of dorm life and still get your work done. You will also want to make friends—and quickly, especially if the program lasts for only two or three weeks. this will put your social skills to the test, a good exercise for later in life. You’ll need to learn how to share a room with a roommate, and you may face the challenge of having to get along with classmates that you don’t particularly like. But it’s also likely that you, like so many others who have attended these programs, will find peers who share your interests and passions, peers who may become your lifelong friends.
there is also value in taking a fast-paced accelerated course without having to worry too much about grades. even if you choose something solely for enrichment, it is still likely to be challenging, as the short term of the summer course requires that it be taught at a rapid pace. in addition to mastering the content in the course you take, responding to the demands of a really rigorous academic experience will improve your study skills, boost your confidence and motivation, and help prepare you for the academic challenges of college life.
thinking Ahead to College
attending a summer residential program can also help you define what you want in a college environment as you begin to narrow your college search. even if you have no interest in attending the particular college at which the summer program is held, spending time on a college campus can help you identify the characteristics in a college that are important to you. While you are there, look around. is the size comfortable, or would you be happier at a larger or smaller college? What about the location? Would you prefer to be in a more urban or rural setting? is there something special you want with regard to living arrangements or dining facilities? What about facilities such as computers, laboratories, libraries, or a museum on campus—can you identify which resources will be important to you in the college you will attend? think about what you do and do not like about the campus on which you are spending your summer and apply those guidelines to your college search.
residential programs provide a unique academic experience. While commuter programs and distance education courses can satisfy your desire to master a content area, a residential program allows you to be immersed around the clock with others who are equally enthusiastic about the subject. sharing ideas about exciting academic topics is possible because you are taking classes with students you are also living and socializing with. You will not only be in class together, but you will do homework together. and conversations can continue over dinner and into free time.
here are many wonderful options for summer, and you should try to take advantage of many of them before you leave high school. But spending at least one susmmer in residence on a college campus—living and learning like a college student—will prepare you in so many ways to choose a college to attend and then to navigate the demands of life as a full-time college student.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - January/February 2011
Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - January/february 2011
In My Own Words
Becoming Environmentally Eloquent
Bacteria vs. Polystyrene: Getting the Toxins Out
Feat of Clay
What Lies Beneath
Clean & Green?
Selected Opportunities & Resources
Making the Most of Public School
One Step Ahead
Exploring Career Options
Off the Shelf
Planning Ahead for College
Creative Minds Imagine
Mark Your Calendar
Imagine Magazine - Johns Hopkins - January/February 2011