Summertime Sadness? Or just plain boredom? Here are some productive ways to spend your time other than Fortnite.
1. Start a business
This sounds intimidating and boring at the same time, I know. But in today’s world, teen owned companies are a lot different than Ye Olde Lemonade Stand. If you’re artistically inclined, try putting your art on somewhere like redbubble.com, a site where you make money just by uploading your artwork and the company prints it on merch and ships it without you ever having to intervene. If that isn’t your thing, try starting a dropshipping empire ( it’s a lot easier than you think) with Shopify.com and Oberlo. Dropshipping means that you list items from other sellers on your site to sell, and when someone buys off your site the drop shippers ship the merchandise and you get a percent of the profits. It’s pretty easy to figure out with just the internet to guide you, and you only need a few hours to get it up and running.
2. Take college classes online- for free
Interested in learning but tired of test prepping and schoolwork? You can take online classes for free about whatever you’re passionate about on edX.com- with classes from schools like Harvard, MIT, and more with simple online lectures and practice. Most classes don’t have any specific timeframe or commitment, either, so if you don’t like a class or don’t have time for the whole thing, you can drop it whenever you want!
3. Get a job
Ah, yes. Render your parents’ diatribes of “Get a Job!” redundant by going out and… getting one. If you’re 14, the options are pretty limited- Publix is pretty much the only place that will hire you. Some more stores will hire you if you are 15, but 16 is really the year the endless possibilities of working in retail open up to you. Most of your favorite stores at the mall ( like Pacsun, Hollister, and others) hire 16-year-olds, so try applying online with a quick Google search or just walk into wherever you shop and ask for an application. Not only are employee discounts and extra cash pretty sick on their own, but a job is also a great way to meet new friends and spend your free time getting some spending money.
4. Start looking into scholarships and internships
This sounds daunting, but summer is the best time to look for internships, programs, and scholarships that align with your specific interests. The app RaiseMe, for example, provides micro-scholarships for everything from having an A in algebra to doing some community service. There are also tons of programs that accept high school students at the edge of your fingertips- just Google it! If you’re into computers, just look up “tech internships for teens” and one should pop up. Most hospitals also have summer volunteer opportunities for teens, and if you like activism, see if there are any local campaigns you can contact. Even if a company or person that you want to intern with doesn’t publicly list opportunities, contact them directly and the worst that could happen is them saying no.
5. Go to a college program
This is definitely expensive, but most programs at colleges- even Ivies like Dartmouth, Harvard, and more cover 100% of demonstrated financial need to students that apply and are selected for a variety of classes and programs the school offers. These are usually a week- or longer programs that house students in dorms and have them attend regular college classes, giving you a taste of life on campus.
6. Give back
Summer is great for you, but it’s not great for everyone else. Animal shelters fill to capacity and many homeless people seek food and shelter from the sweltering heat. This summer, try volunteering at a local humane society or Metropolitan Ministries ( or, if you can drive, Meals On Wheels) and give back while you have the time. You don’t necessarily have to find a nonprofit to give back- you can just help an elderly neighbor move furniture or clean up your local beach or playground. Not everyone has the privilege of time as you do- use it to make the world a better place.
All in all, there are many options for getting the most out of your summer break. These are just a few ideas to get you off your feet!