Summer can stretch out for what seems like an eternity. Day after glorious day of no school, no responsibilities, no assignments. It’s perfect…for about two weeks. That’s about how long the sleeping in every day/staying up late every night is fun. Then, it becomes monotonous, and (dare we say) boring. When you’ve reached the ‘But what is there to DO?’ stage of summer, try a few of these cheap but cool ideas. Not only will they help you fill the time, you may learn a few things, and they look good on a college application. Even better – you may actually have fun!


Yes, it’s summer. But that doesn’t mean you have to stop learning – it just means that you can study something you WANT to learn or don’t have time to explore during the school year.

  1. Learn sign language. (Did you know that some states recognize sign language as a foreign language? You may be able to get school credit for learning to speak with your hands!)
  2. Learn how to build an app. (Check the web – there are tons of resources that you can use for free!)
  3. Learn to write computer programs.
  4. Learn to draw or paint.
  5. Find a summer class at your local college that looks interesting. Email the professor and find out if you can sit in on a class or two, just to experience college and see what the class is like.


Summer is a great time to explore the world around you. Need some ideas on what to do?

  1. Visit all the state parks near you. How much native wildlife can you find?
  2. Map out all the colleges in a 30 mile radius. Visit as many as you can, and write a review of each of them. Start a blog and share the information with your friends (and the world!).
  3. Attend a city council meeting to see how government works. You may even be inspired to get involved in the political process!
  4. Photograph historical locations in your city. Research the history of your town and check out the archives at your library to see how much it’s changed.
  5. Set a ‘No Way Can I Do This’ Goal and then go all-out in an effort to achieve it. You may not reach it, but you’ll be much further than if you never tried!


There is so much you can do this summer that doesn’t cost a thing. Get started on a few of these ideas today!

  1. Read as many books as you can over the summer. (Some local libraries have reading programs during the summer where you can win prizes such as movie passes, gift cards and more. Ask your librarian if your library has one!) Visit Pinellas County Schools for Summer Reading ideas.
  2. Volunteer with a community group: the local library, animal shelter or your local church are always looking for new people to help.
  3. Start a business with your friends. You’d be surprised how many successful business owners got their start this way! (Mark Cuban – famed Shark Tank investor and Dallas Maverick owner – got his start selling garbage bags!)
  4. Ask your school principal what you can do to help improve the school. Paint a classroom, clean desks, organize the lunchroom, there are always things that need to be done over the summer even when students aren’t in session. For added fun, get a few of your friends to help.
  5. Stop watching TV cold turkey. Give it up for the rest of the summer and fill the time with something productive and fun instead.

Don’t let this summer turn into endless empty days. Fill your days with something new and worthwhile. Not only will it look good on your college application, you’ll have a great answer when people ask, “So…what did you do this summer?”