This is where the real fun begins.
Now that I’m officially a high school senior (ewwww I still can’t believe it) it’s time for the real grind to start. In most schools, senior year is supposed to be the easiest (senioritis, yay!) and well… that doesn’t really apply to me. For everyone out there who says I brought this upon myself by taking too many difficult classes and being too involved, what did you expect? Anyway, before senior year, I still have this one summer of freedom. Ha, just kidding, no freedom for me this summer. XD
There is so much to do this summer that I am scared just thinking about it. So I decided to write about it to make it seem like less than it actually is. Or at least to get it all down. This is honestly written less for others (although I know for some this info might be helpful) and more for me to hold myself accountable for everything I have planned to do this summer. Let’s see how much of it actually happens. And so begins my descent into the inferno.
I’ll start off with the things I have to do/will require the most amount of time, and go into all the other stuff I want to do this summer.
1. Liberty Science Center Partners in Science
This is pretty much gonna take up my entire summer and I could not be more excited. Five days a week, 8ish hours a day, with 4 six hour workshops and a final symposium presentation. I love the researcher I got assigned to and the topics she’s researching, so this is definitely going to be the best part of my summer. The fact that I’m getting paid for it doesn’t hurt either.
But I’ll be in and out of the lab the entire summer - hopefully I don’t end up living there - and I cannot wait. Besides this being a super awesome/well-renowned program, it’ll really give me a taste of what being a scientist and being in a lab all day would mean, something I might want to pursue in the future. I’ll eventually have a post dedicated entirely to this program, and I am even planning on blogging weekly updates (as long as it’s okay with the people I’m working with) during the program.
2. The Summer HW My Teachers Assign for Some God-Forsaken Reason
Yes, I understand it’s important to keep your mind active and whatnot for the 8 weeks between hell and more hell (jk, I actually love school), but is this much work really necessary? Like when your AP Lit teacher gives you a picture-words collage that will surely stimulate our creative minds to no bounds. Or when your AP Spanish teacher gives you 4 assignments (one is optional but highly, highly, highly recommended) including 148 pages of reading and making a video. (My school’s obsession with making videos is a whole other topic). I won’t fault my AP Calc summer homework cause I took Pre-calc like two years ago and I don’t remember a lick of it, so that one I actually need. But yeah, c’mon teachers, sometimes all this summer homework is unnecessarily extra and we all leave it to the last minute anyway. (But not this year! I actually already started mine. Cause well, I will literally have no time this summer if I don’t get started early.)
3. Teaching Piano
Of course, I love teaching and I love my students, and this is also my only steady income during the summer. But teaching is always fun and never a chore and hopefully I can get some more students now that it is summer. A lot of my students are going on vacation too :( so right now I don’t have many to teach - but they will be back before I know it. But seeing as I can’t leave my students to fend for themselves, this is something I will have to do these weekends, not that I won’t enjoy it!
4. Playing Piano
Now, this is going to be significantly more of a challenge than teaching piano. But I still have to trudge on hopefully getting in at least an hour of practice a day (ha! Let’s see if even that happens). But by August I’m supposedly taking my RCM (Royal Conservatory of Music) Level 9 exam (I haven’t even looked at the music yet and do you know how hard it is to play arpeggios at fricking presto with hands as small as mine?). For the past year or so I’ve been prepping competition pieces that are skyscrapers harder than my RCM pieces, so hopefully, I’ll be able to get through the like 7 required pieces with not much trouble. But let’s see how far I can get, my plan was to finish the RCM program (there are 10 levels) before high school ends and then pursue either a piano teaching certificate or licentiate diploma in performance (something I can audition for with the pieces I’m playing currently). Anyway, that’s the plan, it’s not going to be easy, but it is possible.
I’ve already started writing my essays, and in case you can’t tell, I am very excited. :) I love applying for things (I love getting accepted more, *wink wink nudge nudge, Princeton*) and so I am scared but excited to finally start applying to college. Besides all the essays and general application info I’ll have to do this summer, I also have to visit colleges! (Which I should have been doing earlier, but the only one I got around to was Princeton - it’s a convenient 5 minutes from my house.) I am not EDing (early decision) anywhere, so I don’t have to worry about those apps, but I am EAing (early action) to surprise, surprise, Princeton! (But I’ve also planned out almost my entire Princeton supplementary application, so I’m ahead of the plan there.) But I still need to/want to get everything done before school starts, cause I will be super busy then. (By the way, Princeton Admissions Officer, if you happen to be reading this blog post (!) then realize I really, really, really, really want to go to Princeton. Please accept me. Please. T-T)
6. Congressional Award
A few weeks ago, I decided to try for and signed up for the Congressional Awards. Basically, the awards require completion of goals in four different categories: Voluntary Public Service, Personal Development, Physical Fitness, and Expedition/Exploration. Completion of these goals, which could literally be anything, requires a certain amount of hours or months of activity for each specific award level. My plan is to apply for the Bronze Certificate as soon as I am eligible and then the Gold Certificate before the New Year. And hopefully before I graduate I can receive a Bronze or Silver Medal, and then go for a Gold Medal later in college. But for that, I need to start this summer. I’ve planned out my Expedition/Exploration part already, and have goals for the other three areas, but still need to actually accomplish them. Hopefully, by September I’ll have enough to apply for the Bronze Certificate.
7. This Blog!
Of course, I can’t forget about this blog! This is going to be a big part of my summer - my goal is to write at least once a week for sure and preferably twice a week. Hopefully, my research updates will give me something to look forward to writing and I have a lot of other stuff planned :) (Including a trip through the Common App, interviews with Admissions Officers, my experiences of AP testing, and more :)
8. STUCO Prep
Now that I’m Student Council Pres, next year is only going to be that much busier. Cannot wait though! I have so many ideas, hopefully at least a few of them will come to fruition. (We are having a Mr. Academy Pageant. I feel like the more I say this the greater the chance is of it actually happening.) But the prep for all this starts in the summer and there is much work to be done.
9. Some Sort of Mental Preparation for AP Calc and AP Spanish
I passed on taking AP Calc my junior year because it’s a notorious GPA killer in my school (I took Stats instead), but now the time has come. I also don’t really like math that much, but not much I can do about that. Besides brushing up on Pre-calc, I at least want to watch some Khan Academy videos on Calc so I’m not floundering the first few weeks of class.
As opposed to Calc, I loooooove Spanish (French will always remain my first love though) and am so incredibly excited to take this class. Unfortunately, it’s not going to be easy, I need to make sure I don’t forget what Spanish is over the summer. I also need to build my vocab and practice speaking, two things that will make me that much better at Spanish and hopefully help me become as least somewhat fluent in the language so I can move on to a new one in the future. (For those who don’t know, my ultimate aspiration in life is to be fluent in as many languages as possible, preferably 7, at least 5 - English, Hindi, Spanish, French, and Japanese.) I’ve already started an Anki (spaced-repetition flashcards) for the Top 10,000 Essential Spanish Vocabulary and I’m like a thousand words in, and I’ve found an app (Lingbe - totally recommend it) that lets me practice speaking Spanish with native speakers. Hopefully, I can do this enough during the summer for it to have an impact.
(I should also probably do some sort of prep for my other classes, considering some are going to be harder/more work than these two, but science subjects like A&P and Biomedical Innovations come a lot easier to me, so let’s save time when we can - I’ll deal with them in September.)
So, I had this plan to learn Organic Chemistry this summer, just cause I wanted to (and I happen to have a textbook from an old neighbor that taught Orgo at Princeton) and that is still the plan, but let’s see how long it lasts. Initially, I wanted to learn it so I could take a practice MCAT seriously before the summer ends, just to see where I stand (I know, I know, it’s very extra, but I am very extra). I still really want to do it, but because of everything that’s on my plate, it’s not as high of a priority anymore. I’ll still try to make it happen, though.
This one’s sorta on the back burner cause I know it’s something I have to do, but in the end, I just don’t know if I’ll have enough time for it. USABO stands for United States of America Biology Olympiad. Last year (when my school refused to host it and I ended up doing it on my own with some friends with the help of the USABO Director) I was literally a point away from being a semi-finalist (I swear I should’ve studied more, I would’ve actually had a chance, but whatever, it was a busy year) and so I know this year I have a chance. Plus this year I’m organizing it in my school so I want to at least be serious about competing in it as well. So I really, really want to actually study, but I don’t know how much time I’ll have in the summer and during the year. But I’ll definitely try to squeeze it in.
Well, that is the summer of a lifetime I have outlined. Usually my summer plans remain just that - plans - but hopefully, by writing them down and publicly posting them this year I’ll have a better shot at actually getting things done, and getting them done on time. Here’s to this summer, let’s all have fun. :)
Thanks for reading!