Exploring Interests Over the Summer

Talia Pfeffer

Turning interests into passions, and passions into loves: why summer college programs are beneficial to high school students
With summer vacation just around the corner, excited students are beginning to think about their summer plans. A popular option for students is enrolling in academic courses at some of the country’s most prestigious colleges and universities. This time last year, I was running from teacher to teacher trying to get recommendations for my program applications, while finalizing my application to attend a summer program at Emerson College.

Following the end of the school year, I received my admission letter to attend the Emerson Pre-College Journalism Institute. I remember taking to social media about how thrilled I was to get into the program despite my nerves.

When I arrived at the Paramount building, the place I’d be calling home for three weeks, it began to sink in how authentic this pre-college experience could be.

A few days in, my professor told our class to explore the city in partners, find a story, and create a complete news package. Since this was new for me, I was excited to jump into the assignment. After some brainstorming, my partner and I decided to look for our story at Faneuil Hall. When we arrived, we noticed a crowd around the building, and set up our microphone, camera, and notepad.
Hundreds of new, legalized U.S. citizens emerged, and we happened to be the first people they talked to before reuniting with their families. I call this experience my “journalistic Renaissance” because I realized how incredible it is to report history as it happens and cover it without any preparation.

As days went by, I would get faster and better at going out and finding a story, reporting live, and creating a news package for our weekly broadcast. I learned so much about how to execute journalism in the 21st century, and take pride in working hard under deadline. Not only did I see this experience as essential for my continued success in the field, but I saw it as a crucial facet of higher focus for my current situation of high school.

Although participating in summer academic programs doesn’t guarantee college admission, it will be sure to provide you with an unforgettable experience that will prepare you for what’s to come in the future. If you show an interest in something whether it be biomedical engineering, or journalism, participating in a summer program can transform your interest into a passion, and make yourself stand out from the enormous and very selective application pool colleges receive.