Sungjoon Chang/ Northwood HS 10th Grade
Should students spend their summer relaxing or working just as hard as the regular school year? Many parents believe summer programs, such as pre-college summer programs are needed in order to keep their child productive during the long 2-month summer break. Pre-college programs vary from short 2 week programs with 1 or 2 classes to intense 8 week programs.
Advantages of participating in pre-college summer programs are plentiful. For example, you get to meet new people who share the same interests as you. Unlike regular school, pre-college programs focus on your interests, instead of forcing you to learn subjects that are not relevant to you. In doing so, pre-college programs allow you to meet and interact with students who pursue the same goals as you.
Another benefit of pre-college programs is the fact that you get to test out a school that you potentially would want to go to. If you are interested in going to a certain college, attending the pre-college program for that school is beneficial on two levels. First, you get to learn about the school and decide if you really think it is the best fit for you. Allen Liu, a sophomore at Portola High School is going to a fashion design camp at Parsons, his dream school. He will get to experience New York and consider if Parsons is the right school for him. Second, you get to show the school that you are genuinely interested in attending their school. In doing so, you increase your chances of getting into that school.
Although there are numerous advantages of participating in a summer program, that does not mean you have to partake in one. One downside of summer programs is that it is very costly if you do not receive a scholarship or financial aid. A 12-day pre-college program at Harvard University is just under 5000 dollars. That is approximately 420 dollars PER DAY. You might feel like you wasted your money if you did not benefit from the summer program.
These summer programs are not for everyone. You should carefully research if you are the type of student that would benefit from attending a pre-college summer program. Just because everyone else is doing it should not be a reason for you to do it. Other ways you can stay productive during the summer is participating in an internship, studying for the SATs, or even getting a job. All of these options will allow you to spend a happy and fruitful summer.
<Sungjoon Chang/ Northwood HS 10th Grade