Keeping Their Brains Trained     

Students’ summer plans include jobs and preparation programs

Navya Kaur

Staff Writer

Back in those distant, sunny, childhood days, summer breaks were spent playing outside on the grass, eating chocolate chip ice cream, and letting loose for the few months that school was out.

But as students enter high school, summer breaks are promoted as time for students to pursue extracurricular activities to build their college applications. Whether it is studying for SAT exams, taking preparation courses, or applying for internships, more and more students are taking their extra time to reach far and beyond the limited courses and activities American has to offer.

The Academic Talent Development Program (ATDP), offered at UC Berkeley, is one of the few academic programs many high schoolers partake in. Katha Koragoankar, a current sophomore at American, is taking an Advanced Chemistry course to “get a head start in AP Chemistry next year.”

“My friend is taking the class and it seemed really interesting, so I signed up with her,” Koragoankar said. “I want to take the class, so when I take AP Chemistry, I won’t struggle as much, because I’ve already learned the material.”

Throughout the past couple of years, more and more students are adopting the idea of taking preparation courses over the summer. UC Berkeley is not the only university or college that extends summer programs to high school students–Laney Community College in Oakland grants students the opportunity to take college-level classes.

“The course I will be taking during the summer will be Introduction to Business,” current junior Disha Dubey said. “This is an opportunity for me to explore the field and figure out if it really is the right one for me to pursue. It’s impossible to decide what I want to do for the rest of my life without exposing myself to as many possibilities as possible.”

While taking academic enrichment classes is common, some students are also choosing to spend their summers working or interning at local businesses.

“I am going to work over the summer at a typical fast food chain restaurant for [an] average seventeen-year old,” junior Deeba Haider said. “I [needed] something to do that would also help me save up for college. Hopefully with this job, I learn to be more responsible and not spend every single paycheck.”

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