Staff Editorial: Students need to prioritize relaxation during summer


Illustrated by Rachel Neathery

With rising anxiety over college applications, students are often stressed during summer vacations.

TPT Staff

Breaks are, without a doubt, essential to the preservation of student mental health and overall relaxation. With summer vacation being the longest of all school breaks, students should pay more attention to social development, according to Baylor College of Medicine. However, many high-schoolers are now taking time out of their break to complete shallow volunteering programs and research projects for their college applications in the future, prioritizing passionless work over relaxation.

Volunteering has become a focus in college applications, but more importantly offers other benefits to students. According to the Western Connecticut State University, volunteering greatly aids the development of social skills, broadens support networks and allows students to strengthen ties to their community through their activities. However, students fail to understand that these activities are only valuable if they provide enrichment not only to the community, but also to the students according to the Wall Street Journal.

 Though volunteering and research can be time well spent, taking an unnecessary amount of time on these projects only to gain an advantage during college admissions is simply a waste of time. Students ought to use time over the summer to explore interests that develop them into well-rounded people, through programs and interests that allow them to learn from others and explore their interests, according to the Model United Nations Institute. If students are given more time to focus on their independent interests, managing these interests during the school year is less likely to feel like another passionless task to complete. 

From a social perspective, summer is essential to the lives of many students. Most students need time away from work so they don’t become tired of studying altogether. According to International College Counselors, finding the appropriate mix between relaxation and passionate interests is key to enjoying the summer. Time away from school is just as important as time in school; both provide priceless experiences to students and develop them into productive adults, without thinking about college admissions.

Research projects outside of school have proven to be a valuable use of students’ time, as it’s a great way for students to stand out and shape their academic career as a whole, according to the College Planner Pro. However, in the long run, a lack of interest and motivation in research-related work can lead to carelessly completed projects becoming a burden, especially during a period of time when peers are alleviating the stress of the school year.

The incentive high-schoolers look to complete long volunteering hours and difficult research projects is admirable, but a focus needs to be directed towards balancing commitments to school and taking time off for a break. With students being students, they need to prioritize their own interests over potential college resume add-ons that may not even be useful.