By: Whitney Hughes
I think it’s fair to say that school has its way of draining students. Since March I have been anxiously anticipating the end of the academic year or, more importantly, the beginning of summer break.

Like most students, my summer is going to consist of a healthy amount of relaxation. No, I don’t mean I’m going to stay in bed all day binge watching movies on my Firestick. In fact, I plan on maximizing my summer in a way that I won’t dread the start of the next school year.

Going into my senior year makes this summer perhaps the most important one of my high school career. There are college tours I need to take, scholarships to start applying for, college essays to look at, classes and summer programs to be in. All of which could be intimidating and even stressful. Which is why I came up with the following game plan for my summer:

#1. Take a College Road Trip
It’s always a good idea to visit any college before you decide on attending that school. But, taking random days to visit a bunch of colleges or doing all the tours in say, two days, is just tiring. Therefore, I have scheduled a whole week so that I can experience the environment of the cities I’ll be visiting. A college road trip is just one of the productive vacations I’ll be taking this summer.

#2. Scholarship Days
There are always scholarships to find and apply for. But, spending my time applying for scholarship after scholarship can be draining. Instead, one day a week I will be applying for two scholarships. One essay scholarship and one “easy” application.

#3. Visit Friends and Family
Summer break is for relaxing and having fun! It’s important that I remember to take some time to enjoy my summer. Whether that’s going to the mall with my friends, catching a movie or visiting cousins… There’s plenty of time in the summer to have some typical teenage fun.

#4. Take Interesting Classes
For me, summer classes are mainly to help me stay in the learning mode for the next school year. So, I’ll be taking a few classes at the University of Toledo but, they are classes that I’ll be able to enjoy. A music class, Astronomy… Topics that I’m actually interested in. Through College Credit Plus, I’ll be getting all these college credits for free.

#5. Make some Money
I don’t have a lot of time for a real job. So, I like to do things here and there to make some money. Braiding hair, babysitting, freelance writing… Money is nice to have but it isn’t my top priority. I definitely don’t plan on spending my entire summer at work.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you to make the most of your summer. Remember to have some fun but don’t forget to be productive. Once I start my career, I know there won’t be any more summer breaks and I need to be prepared for that, while appreciating the few breaks I have left.