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School’s out for summer, and the possibilities are endless! High school students enjoy a three-month break from tests and teaching, but there are plenty of ways to continue learning while keeping your summer fun. Here are some ideas for making the most of your summer.

Get a Job or Internship

Working is an excellent way to spend your summer vacation. Some skills are better learned in the workplace than in the classroom, and you can improve social skills, practice time management and accept new responsibilities. Plus, you get paid to do it!

Students can choose from many summer job options. Check with local retail and food service businesses for open positions, or dive into new opportunities as a lifeguard at a community pool. If you know what degree or work role you want to pursue after graduation, apply for an internship or ask to shadow a family member or friend in that field. Whichever route you go, summer jobs and internships look great on a resume and open up future opportunities.


One of the best ways to use your free time is to give back to your community. Many nonprofits and religious organizations sponsor special events and programs that can use a helping hand. As you decide who to volunteer with, consider your passions. If you love to shop, check out a thrift store that donates clothing to people in need. If you’re a great athlete and like to lead others, offer to coach a youth sports team. Your school club may require service hours, so talk with your club sponsor about group volunteer opportunities for your classmates.

Fun 4 First Coast Kids, the City of Jacksonville, Just Serve and VolunteerMatch are a few resourceful options to help you find the perfect volunteer opportunity in Northeast Florida. Volunteering is rewarding, fun and, most importantly, impactful—making it a great way to spend your summer.

Attend a Summer Camp

Summer camps can last from a week up to two months and are much more than ziplines and capture the flag. Most camps have a focus, whether it’s computer coding, horseback riding, religious studies or sports—you name it. The best part is, you are surrounded by a bunch of other students who have the same interests as you. Camps provide an inviting space to explore your interests and grow as a person.

Invest in a Hobby

The summer months are a perfect time to enjoy your hobbies. It’s even better when you gain more than just gratification from the things you like to do. If you’re an artist, start a small business on Etsy or Instagram for commissioned pieces. Practice entrepreneurship by turning your video game time into a profitable Twitch stream. Work with a trainer to perfect your athletic technique, setting you up for a victorious sports season and a potential college offer. Start a podcast with your friends or consider learning a new language. Whatever ambition you have, turn it into tangible results that can contribute to your long-term success. 

Take a Break

As you are making the most of your summer, it is fantastic to do the things mentioned above. However, it is also extremely important to rest. After nine months of rigorous study, intense athletics and rapid growth, your brain and your body deserve a break. Go for walks, take a roadtrip or connect with someone you haven’t seen in a while. You are the best version of yourself when you are rejuvenated, so spend your summer doing the things that bring you joy.

Being a student is a great time to refine your interests and pursue your passions. Classroom education and extracurricular involvement are essential for continued success, but summer vacation can provide just as much growth. Practice your hobbies, learn about the workforce and give back to your community, all while making the most of your summer break.