A Map to Summer Success - April 2010

Each year of college brings new opportunities--and new challenges--for students. Overwhelmed by a whirlwind of activities and the realization that the "real world" is rapidly approaching, summer is the prime time to realign priorities, be refreshed and take steps toward goals.

Freshman Frenzy:

With a student's freshman year comes dozens of new relationships as well as the excitement and anxiety that accompanies being independent.

Summer Goal: Strengthen new relationships and reconnect with family and friends.

Steps to Success:

MISSION TRIPS are opportunities for freshmen to serve alongside other members of the Baylor family and build deeper relationships as they embark on these life-changing adventures together. Discipline-specific trips offer a chance to apply classroom knowledge in the field.

HOME is a great place for students to find refreshment after undergoing the emotions and stress of their first year of independence. Also, students can reconnect with high school friends and mentors, maintaining these significant relationships.

SUMMER CAMP employment boosts students' financial security before returning to campus and allows them to build leadership skills and confidence while mentoring children.

Sophomore Studies:

At this point, students have likely chosen a major…and may have even realized that they are short a few prerequisite classes.

Summer Goal: Explore the tentative major and be sure studies are on track.

Steps to Success:

SUMMER SCHOOL allows students to catch up on classes they may have overlooked or get ahead in their program. If their first two years were difficult, retaking classes during summer sessions can restore their GPA and provide a fresh start.

VOLUNTEERING with a variety of organizations that are similar to the student's major will help him/her narrow interests and confirm which area of the field is most appealing.

DISCIPLINE-SPECIFIC MISSION TRIPS offer students the chance to gain real-life exposure to their major while serving others. Accompanying professors, they have the opportunity to experience challenges in their field, learn from mistakes and benefit from unique mentorship throughout the process.

Junior Job-search:

Now, the "real world" is approaching and students need the confidence and skills to finish their last school year on top.

Summer Goal: Prepare for a future career and devote time to family and friends.

Steps to Success:

INTERNSHIPS are vital. Though available during the school year, students have more time during summer to dedicate to an internship, enabling them to gain greater exposure and skills.

FAMILY TIME is necessary during this season. Students will soon be on their own and need the foundation of family to succeed. Investing in family will help students feel more confident as they take steps toward graduation and a career.

VACATIONS WITH FRIENDS allow students to develop lasting memories with their college friends before they each prepare to go separate directions. Though they will spend their senior year together, finding a job and finishing strong will preoccupy their time.

Senior Summer: A New Story

The summer after senior year opens a new chapter in life. Remind students in advance to attend career fairs, secure internships and be sure not to overlook relationships in light of the responsibilities that precede the "real world."

With all the hustle and bustle that accompanies college life, students need your guidance to discern their priorities. Hopefully, this list will help you and your student sort through the numerous options and land on the summer plan that will bring success.