一封来自普林斯顿导师的信(中英文版) --如何合理规划暑假?

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一封来自普林斯顿导师的信

 --如何合理规划暑假

每到暑期,在日渐激烈的留学大潮中,学生们都思考着要如何安排暑期时间才能让自己的暑假过得更有意义,在有限的时间里提高自身素质为入读国外大学提前做好准备。同样的,很多家长都意识到了暑假对孩子成长的重要性,然而,应该怎样做才是帮助孩子出谋划策呢?美中国际教育外籍导师、往届集训营普林斯顿导师Rena给我们精英计划的学生们给出了以下建议:


1 选择要注重“兴趣+目标”

美国学生在暑假除了花时间准备SAT/ACT/SSAT等考试外,他们还会在暑假期间每天花几小时或每周固定几天去做那些可以深究个人性格特点、激发学术兴趣或者挑战自我的课外活动、志愿者、实习或兼职/全职工作。美国学生在暑假的另一项重要事情就是放松自己,以便他们可以反省思考什么才是适合自己的以及怎样去做。没有一个所谓的“固定公式”或者“完美暑假”,学生暑期的活动是建立在每个学生的兴趣和目标上的。

2 项目要注重“资质+实用”

越来越多的学生会在暑期参加各种暑期项目,但是面对形形色色的暑假项目家长在选择的时候不一定是要昂贵的暑期项目,而是要因人而异。因为对美国学生来说参加大学暑期项目对于他们升学并没有太大的帮助,但对于中国学生来说这种项目则会帮助他们了解美国大学课堂并且为申请文书充实内容。已经连续举办了几年的美中国际常春藤集训营据往期学员反馈参加以后既能帮助了解美国课程又可以指导申请文书写作并且有丰富课余活动的营地,不需要长途出国就可以享受到国际课程氛围,对于自己申请美国名校具有非常大的帮助。

3 家长不能代替孩子做选择   

事实上哈佛大学非常担心学生的心理健康并说道:“家庭应该允许学生‘停机’,即在周末、假期期间、平时的进餐时间或任何其他休息时间给学生放松。夏天完全不需要被高度结构化的暑期学校,旅游项目,或运动营地项目填满,也不需要过多地添加压力装配成“超级同行”几乎不可能的高标准。适合个体的活动可以让学生学习更加愉快,对学生发展更有帮助,学生需要充足的自由时间来反思、重塑自己(即在没有升学压力的影响之下来重塑自己),以及为来年的学业养精蓄锐。如果学生总是被要求做一个又一个紧张且没有真正兴趣的项目,会导致学生很快透支自己,甚至进入大学后产生精神崩溃的情况被迫休学。” 所以在一定程度上家长要询问孩子的意见并尊重孩子的选择。

总的来说,美国学生会利用暑假时间在他们的高中简历上增加有意义的事情,还会规划时间去参加一些即使不轻松但却能够帮助自己追求自我、认识自我、改变自我、让自己成长的活动,这些也是中国学生应该学习的。


以下是美中国际外籍导师Rena提供的学生在暑假活动要点参考:

  • 能够发挥学生特长的活动

  • 体育、乐器或者志愿者活动

  • 线上课程或者是本地学校某一特定领域的课程(像天文、创意写作等,不包括SAT课程)

  • 做一份暑期全职或兼职工作(一位招生官说过:工作让任何人增值,它用一种不同于上学的方式来塑造性格)

  • 学生乐在其中的活动

  • 学生自己决定而不是父母决定去做什么

  • 学生真实知道自己要追求什么很重要(应该是学生真正的兴趣)

  • 休息的时候与家人一起很重要

  • 休闲活动要让学生放松和反思:例如独自休闲的散步、思考和梦想未来、享受阅读等

  • 保持写日记

  • 走出舒适圈——学习跳舞、唱歌、游泳或演讲

  • 观看和讨论引人深思的电影或纪录片

  • 组建或参加一个读书/电影俱乐部去学会批判性分析、分享想法、辩论观点等

  • 学习免费的线上课程:Academic Earth, Coursera, Udacity, Udemy, edX, SkilledUp OpenU, FutureLearn,以及其他更多http://knowledgelover.com/best-mooc-massive-open-online-course-providers-list/

  • 预习大学级别的课程:UCLA, Columbia University, engineering at Johns Hopkins, 康奈尔大学和纽黑文大学提供的海洋生物课程(6-7月,和8月),密西根州的Interlochen Arts Camp,以及其他更多 http://www.summerdiscovery.com/

  • 学习海外暑期课程,尤其是对于外语学习特别感兴趣的:Abbey Road和Where There Be Dragon


更多好文分享网址:

  • http://wiselikeus.com/collegewise/2010/05/50-summer-activities-for-high-school-students.html

  • https://professionals.collegeboard.org/guidance/prepare/summer 

  • https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/outside-the-classroom/5-ways-to-stay-on-track-in-summer

  • http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theartofgettingaccepted/tp/best-summer-plans-for-high-school-students.htm

  • http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theartofgettingaccepted/a/bad-summer-plans.htm

  • http://poetsandquantsforundergrads.com/2014/06/28/a-high-school-students-guide-to-summer-planning-for-college/

  ◆    


HOW TO PLAN YOUR SUMMER?
Summary  

While US students sometimes do spend time over the summer preparing for exams such as the SAT/ACT/SSAT/etc., they do not spend their entire summers doing only just this and often will spend just a few hours regularly (daily or for a few days each week) and then use the rest of the time for other things. Those other things could be classes, activities, volunteering, internships, or part-time/full-time jobs that allow students to delve deeper into personal or academic interests or challenge themselves in ways that may not necessarily be academic and should be something that the student enjoys and has decided for themselves to do (and should not be something forced onto them by their parents). Another important thing that US students do over their summer is spend some of the time relaxing so that they can reflect on what they want to develop about themselves, and how to do it. There is no "formula" for a 'perfect summer' such as you must do X, Y, and Z, because it depends on each student and their interests and goals for how they want to develop. 

Summer Plan  

Summer plans also do not need to include fancy or expensive programs. Regarding summer enrichment programs (like summer programs at universities), opinions seem to be mixed because some people think it is a waste of time, especially for American students, because for American students it may not help with their application for admission, but for Chinese students it may help to give them a better idea of what US university classes are like and the potential for building credibility on their application. If the summer enrichment program is focused on a specific area such as journalism or robotics that the student is genuinely interested in, then it becomes a good reason to participate. However, if a Chinese student is accepted to a selective summer enrichment program at a university and is interested in going, I would still suggest that they do not only take classes while they are in the program--just like with SAT classes, I would recommend that the student spend time outside of classes and doing coursework to pursue other interests nearby, continue to reflect, try to volunteer or do an internship nearby, etc. 

Havard Say  

Harvard is actually very worried about the mental health of students and say that "Families should allow for “down-time” during vacations, weekends, and during the week at mealtimes or at any other break..Summer need not be totally consumed by highly structured programs, such as summer schools, travel programs, or athletic camps. While such activities can be wonderful in many ways, they can also add to stress by assembling “super peers” who set nearly     impossible standards. Activities in which one can develop at one’s own pace can be much more pleasant and helpful. An old-fashioned summer job that provides a contrast to the school year or allows students to meet others of differing backgrounds, ages, and life experiences is often invaluable in providing psychological downtime and a window on future possibilities. Students need ample free time to reflect, to recreate (i.e. to “re-create” themselves without the driving pressure to achieve as an influence), and to gather strength for the school year ahead." They say that students who have always been told to do one stressful program after another with no genuine interest very quickly burn out or have mental breakdowns once they reach college, and then may be forced to take a year off. Here is where they say this:

https://college.harvard.edu/admissions/preparing-college/should-i-take-time

Conclusion   

In conclusion, US students do use their summers to add impressive things on their high school resumes, but they also try to schedule time to pursue activities that will help guide them to making more meaningful personal decisions about what to pursue, and sometimes that means pursuing activities to know themselves better first, and to challenge themselves in ways that make them uncomfortable, so that they can grow.


Here are some bullet points for what students could do during the summer: 

  • Activities where students can explore their interests

  • Activities to improve a skill such as a sport or instrument or volunteering

  • Taking a class online or at a local college to explore a specific subject area such as astronomy, creative writing, etc (not including SAT)

  • Working a part-time or full-time summer job (one admissions officer said "Working is a great enhancement for anybody. It builds character in a different way than going to school.”)

  • The activities should be something the student enjoys

  • The student, not the parent, should decide what to do

  • It is important that students be authentic in what they pursue (it should be for genuine interest)

  • Downtime is very important too to be together with family

  • Relaxing activities should be included as well so that the student can reflect and relax: take leisurely walks alone, think and dream about the future, read for enjoyment, etc.

  • Keeping a diary to write down reflections

  • Doing something to get out of comfort zone - learning to dance, sing, swim, or give speeches

  • Watching and discussing thought-provoking movies, films, or documentaries

  • Starting and/or participating in a book or film club to learn how to critically analyze, share thoughts, argue opinions, etc. and use this guide to learn how to learn better

  • Free college-level online courses: Academic Earth, Coursera, UdacityUdemy, edX, SkilledUp OpenU, FutureLearn, and many others.

  • University-level programs: UCLA, Columbia University, engineering at Johns Hopkins, marine biology (June-July, August) offered by Cornell and University of New Hampshire, the arts in a camp in Michigan, and many others.

  • Study abroad summer programs, especially if the student is interested in learning or practicing another language: Abbey Road and Where There Be Dragons


Here are some of the websites that have some more great ideas: 


  • http://wiselikeus.com/collegewise/2010/05/50-summer-activities-for-high-school-students.html

  • https://professionals.collegeboard.org/guidance/prepare/summer 

  • https://bigfuture.collegeboard.org/get-started/outside-the-classroom/5-ways-to-stay-on-track-in-summer

  • http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theartofgettingaccepted/tp/best-summer-plans-for-high-school-students.htm

  • http://collegeapps.about.com/od/theartofgettingaccepted/a/bad-summer-plans.htm

  • http://poetsandquantsforundergrads.com/2014/06/28/a-high-school-students-guide-to-summer-planning-for-college/



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