Greetings Students and Families,

In my earlier blog posting COLLEGE PLANNING: WHAT ARE YOU DOING THIS SUMMER?, I talked about the types and value of attending various collegiate summer programs   This summer has indeed been unique- with many of you skipping collegiate summer programs that were revised as online programs given the ongoing COVID pandemic. Some of you decided to continue and are currently attending a collegiate program working with students and professors in an online setting.  While it’s not a perfect substitute for all you had hoped for, I know you are learning and discovering within a diverse community of  online learners from around the globe. In late fall 2020, I hope we are all in the position to begin planning for summer  2021– and options – HOPE in the FACE OF UNCERTAINTY is a good strategy to cope with our challenging stituaation.  As a private college counselor, together with parents, teachers and your guidance counselor- early college admissions planning allows you to increase chances of college admissions and educational success.

Recently, in COLLEGE ADMISSIONS ASSISTANCE: WHO ARE YOU? EARLY COLLEGE PLANNING!, I discussed the importance of ongoing discovery through extracurricular experiences, included self-directed reading and projects. Some of these readings and projects may become the basis for submissions to Competitions in STEM, Politics, Business & the Visual & Performing Arts.  Some suggestions for competitive venues across these fields were provide in COLLEGE PLANNING TIPS: COMPETITIONS, EXPLORE AND DISCOVERY   Competition not only builds confidence but increases your chances of college admissions acceptance.   Need suggestions? Need guidance on preparing an essay or project for submission?

In my earlier blogs: Part I – Summer Readings  and Part II – Coding Projects for STEM, Business, Humanities and Arts students I provided some ideas for summer projects.  In particular, I also detailed many online opportunities for learning, discovery and connection that are much more than just screen time.

Today I’d like to talk about  some additional ways to spend the balance of your summer break.  If you haven’t yet read a book, been out volunteering, working or flexing some muscle- let’s get you going!


Summer is first and foremost a time for students to recharge, essential to facing another challenging and successful school year.  Students should NOT be over-programmed, but should also keep their “learning muscles” in use through guided readings, activities and programs to further explore.  This is especially true as we learn the reality that most students will resume learning this fall back at their computer screen rather than in a face-to-face classroom.
Self-Guided Exploration – 

So your biology teacher ignited an interest in “Genetics” or maybe your history teacher or a newsfeed item has you wondering about genetics, global warming, cultural diversity, nutrition or your own approach to time management.

I highly recommend TED TALKS on topics that expand your mind to think outside the box. I’d love to talk with young adults about their selections and discuss your thoughts about what you’ve watched and how this relates to emerging academic and personal interests. Your goal- explore something new and be inspired!

Prepare for Next Year — Even the Online Classroom Can be Challenging If You Make it So!
All students should jump start their anticipated most difficult classes for next year.  For most students, that would be an AP Math or AP Science class.  Spend disciplined time 2-3x a week to become familiar with concepts you’ll be learning the first semester. Buy the SATII/AP books and read them. EdX offers “on-ramp” courses.
Let me help your student create a manageable summer schedule and help monitor their progress and success throughout the summer.
Where Do People Leave Their Mark?
Finally, I encourage young adults to read the amazing initiative started by Bill Gates and Warren Buffet:The Giving Pledge  Bill Gates and Warren Buffet are encouraging the wealthiest individuals in the world to give back to society through philanthropic initiatives that can make a difference in the world — wherever you live– Boston, Philadelphia, Westchester County, Boca Raton, Florida, London, or Los Angeles!.  Learn about how billionaires earned their wealth and how they are changing the world. Who do you admire most? Why?  Where will you leave your mark on society?

At many of my initial meetings with High School Seniors, families arrive with an (unsolicited) list of universities.   Selecting a college prior to first knowing more about what potential majors are truly a good “fit” for a student’s interests and strengths will create a situation for a missed opportunity.
That’s why  the years of middle and high school are so important because it’s the time to generate a spark that is unique to your child! Summer is time to ignite!
With a few hundred academic majors and nearly 4000 undergraduate colleges, it’s very unlikely that the middle and high school curriculum and extracurricular experiences enjoyed thus far have put all of the available and amazing options on your student’s radar.
THAT IS STEP 1 of your   College exploration process!!  
Let me help your student explore:
  • undergraduate curriculum maps, and
  • faculty research institutes
to discover the “problem” they want to solve.
  • Where will your student make an impact!?
  • How can we create hands-on experiences to nurture those interests and strengths?

Did your student realize 2019-20 goals?  Let’s evaluate and be ready to exceed 2020-21 goals!


IS YOUR STUDENT ON TARGET?   Joyful and Curious!

Build your personalized Educational & College Admissions Plan!

Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D. guides her clients to define and realize educational and career goals.
With over thirty years of experience as a university professor & admissions committee member you’re invited to leverage her extensive knowledge of university curricula and career opportunities to BUILD YOUR COLLEGE PLAN!.
Be inspired! 
College Admissions & Academic Advising  


Best wishes for a continued restful and joyful summer!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Bonnie R. Rabin, Ph.D.
Online College Counselor
College Advising & Educational Planning
South Florida, Boulder, Co & Anywhere You Are!
Professor Emeritus & Cornell University Alumni Representative- 30+ Years Experience