How High School Students Should Plan their Summers

 In Education, Positive psychology

Ah… the sweet time of summer. With just weeks left of school, most students are counting down the days until they get out of school and finally get to sleep in on weekdays and play video games until their parents tell them to stop.

Ryan was just that sort of student. He was counting down the days until school was out. He would come to Academic Life Coaching sessions with the number of days left in school scribbled by a classmate on a few pages in his notebook.

Ryan was just that sort of student. He was counting down the days until school was out. He would come to Academic Life Coaching sessions with the number of days left in school scribbled by a classmate on a few pages in his notebook.

His plan: to play World of Warcraft, a massively violent video game, for as long as he could get away with it and squander away the beautiful Oregonian summer that we people in Oregon pay for with months of dreary weather during the winter months to enjoy the absolutely technicolor beautiful June, July,and August.

Why technicolor you ask? Because it’s dismally cloudy January through April, and our eyeballs in the Pacific Northwest aren’t used to having the luxury of direct UV rays bouncing off objects without clouds messing the whole thing up.

And he was going to waste it away shut up in his room with his hands connected to a controller watching a TV.

It was almost a crime.

Ryan understood that he didn’t want to play video games all summer. In fact, he thought he was depressed.

He admitted one day, “Even when I’m in class, all I’m really thinking about are video games.”

Yet, and I think this is the best part, Ryan wanted things to be different. He wanted to break the cycle. Really. It was almost like he was addicted to the video games [http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Video_game_addiction] and playing them just reinforced the negative cycle he found himself in.

So we designed a way for him to break the cycle and do something different for his summer. Ryan decided that he wanted to do hard physical labor. He decided that he wanted to work out in the orchard fields picking pears.

His parents thought it was extreme. Ryan didn’t need to pick pears for the money. he earned way more from his weekly allowance than from his weekly paycheck, but that didn’t matter.

In the first month of hard physical labor, Ryan lost 20 pounds. It was awesome to see his transformation through losing weight, feeling better about himself, and he was actually adding value to society rather than literally wasting away his life in front of a television while the world was beautiful outside.

The inner change that Ryan went through was magnificent. Truly. And it’s one that so many young teenagers are currently faced with as they enter the last weeks of their academic year.

As a sophomore Ryan earned a 2.3 GPA. As a junior, after a summer of hard physical manual labor, he earned a 3.7 GPA.

The best part was how good he felt about himself, and how much he learned about the benefit of working hard.

Hard work is a transferrable skill. It doesn’t matter the context or the content of the work. The important point is that young people know how to work hard and the benefits that follow

Recommended Posts

Leave a Comment

Contact Us

We're not around right now. But you can send us an email and we'll get back to you, asap.

Not readable? Change text. captcha txt

Start typing and press Enter to search