Hello, my name is Wei. (Before we go further, it’s important for you to know that it’s pronounced like “WAY.” I mean, how awkward would it be if you came up to me & called me “WEE”?) I’m a senior, a vegetarian, I read ALL THE TIME, I can lick my elbow, and I believe I am searching for a “Great Perhaps.”
Carpe Diem, as you may know, means “seize the day.” “Carpe” means something along the lines of “seize”. “Diem” means day. “Seize the day.” Do not take today for granted because you’ll never know if you’ll be here tomorrow. Don’t procrastinate, take advantage of your youth, don’t put off to tomorrow what you can do today yada yada yada. Yawn, right? Heard it a million times before, right?
Hate to tell ya, but it’s true. Especially now that it’s summer. Don’t just spend time by the pool, snackin’ on Cheetos (or whatever people happen to do during the summer). Actually make something of your summer, don’t let it go passing you by. This goes for everyone, though I’m specifically targeting those of you who are rising juniors or seniors in high school thinking/worrying/freaking out about college, those of you who are in the same boat as me. So, Carpe Aestate. “Seize the summer.”
Here are some tips to make the most of your summer (and, to a lesser degree, help you prepare for college).
1) Save up some money. You’ll need it later. Everyone is more likely to hate than like their summer jobs. Don’t hate it! Learn to make the most of it. Connect with people, make new friends. Put some money in the good old piggy bank (or better yet, savings account).
2) Learn something new. Take some classes either online or in an actual classroom. It’s not too late to enroll. A lot of online classes are even free. In fact, I’m taking a Sociology course through Princeton & a Pharmacology course through the University of Pennsylvania, both made possible by Coursera. If a structured class isn’t your cup of tea, try learning a new language. Memrise offers basic vocabulary for any language you could ever think of (I personally vouch for their Mandarin course). Or learn to knit or yodel or tie your shoes or something. Basic point: sometimes you learn a lot more if you’re not in school.
3) Read. Reading opens doors, expands vocabulary, and if you pick up the right book, changes your mindset or even your life. Also, you will do A LOT of reading in college. So it’s useful to start analytically read books and learning how to read faster. I know I’m not the only one here who has unread books piling up. Summer is the perfect time to catch up on them. You can even sit by the pool & eat Cheetos while reading! If you don’t know what to read, stop by the library for half an hour. I guarantee that you won’t leave empty handed.
4) Volunteer. I started volunteering because I hated being with people who never cared about anything. Through volunteering, I met people that were passionate about what they were doing–and I loved it. Not to mention volunteering looks really good on college applications and a lot of scholarships have volunteer work as criteria. It’s like killing three birds with one stone.
5) Think ahead. What do you plan to do with your life? What college do you want to go to? Research possible career choices & colleges. Do it now because you won’t have time later. Have you signed up for the SATs or ACTs? Think about whether or not you need to take the SAT Subject tests, and if you do, what subjects? Some colleges prefer certain subject tests for certain majors.
6) Have fun! Summer is still summer & that means no school, no teachers, no waking up at six in the morning. Sleep in, rest up, & enjoy your summer. After all, that is what Carpe Aestate is about.