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Teen Summer Plans: What Did You Do Last Summer?

There are many ways to spend a summer—and many ways to make that time valuable, whether it’s study, work or, yes, resting and recharging. Here’s what teens had to say about some of their summer experiences.

“What I Did Last Summer”

I spent six weeks at New England Music Camp as a camper. I was challenged musically while meeting friends from all over the world. It wasn’t serious all day—we did sports and social stuff after lunch. It’s a magical place.
— Logan, 16

This past summer, I spent my time as a nanny for three young girls, and it was an experience I will forever be grateful for. Even though I had to arrive at 6 a.m. (which was difficult, because I wouldn’t usually be awake before 10:30 a.m. while I was on vacation), I looked forward to my day. At the end of the summer, the littlest one clung to my legs and begged me not to leave, but I knew we would see each other before next summer. Those little girls are now a part of my family, as I am part of theirs, and they will always have a special place in my heart.
—Lydia, 20

This summer I did SPA, or summer performing arts. You can be in a musical and practice all summer and then perform. Performing is my favorite thing to do. I can’t wait for next summer, so I can do SPA again!
—Jaseina, 15

Teen Summer Plans

During my junior year I hosted a sit-in to stand up against the discrimination that happens at my school. The experience made me want to be involved in politics and the court system to stand up against injustice. This past summer I was accepted into a program called the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Summer Legal Academy which allowed me to get a better understanding the life of a lawyer.
—Kye, 17

Last summer was amazing. But it also became so nonstop with my job, writing, and socializing that I started to feel really exhausted and drained. I nearly forgot that I had a vacation coming up, but it was a welcome relief. The trip gave me a chance to relax and not even think about my crazy schedule that was waiting for me at home. It made me realize how important it is to stop and recharge every once in a while. I came home from my vacation feeling so much more alive and ready, even excited to take on my busy life once again.
—Jeanne-Marie, 18

Books or Beach?

Over the past summer, I participated in an environmental journalism program with Inside Climate News in Brooklyn, NY. There were about two dozen students from around the world who came to participate in this program. It was pretty difficult to get in, so I am grateful to have been surrounded by such wonderful and intelligent individuals.
—Liliana, 15

One very valuable experience I had this summer was spending time with my family on Cape Cod. This was super important to me because it is a yearly retreat we take to spend precious family time together on the beach or simply at the rental house. We don’t get a lot of this bonding time year-round, but that one week of the summer is really valued in my family’s eyes.
—Harry, 13