How Can You Make Your Summer Productive and Fun?


Lake Michigan lookout Credit: Josie Miller

How Can You Make Your Summer Productive and Fun?

Summer is the time to relax and finally get a long break after a stressful school year, but do you ever find yourself bored  or not prepared for next school year? Here are some ideas to not just avoid boredom but also to stay motivated and productive. 



One way to make your summer productive is to make money. High school is a great time to start a job, because it will make you more prepared for the future. It might sound boring, or not as relaxing as you wanted your summer to be, but jobs can teach you a lot and make you more independent. 

Some ways to find jobs is to look at local places and see if they are hiring teens. Examples are the YMCA, summer camps like Camp AGQ and nearby grocery stores. To apply, you can easily build your own resume through google slides or canva! See also: The Skyline Post’s guide to writing a resume.

Ellen Sapper, a retired AAPS counselor and a current college and career counselor in Skyline’s CUBE shared ideas about how high school students can look for summer jobs, and their importance in preparing for college or work after graduation. Jobs are important because colleges and employers pay attention to what students do outside of school, including paid jobs and volunteering. 

Sapper shared many ideas for places to look for work: “One place that is often looking for high schoolers are day camps, such as those through Ann Arbor Rec and Ed. They are happy to hire teenagers, and often they can work or volunteer for just a week or two.” You can contact Rec and Ed easily through Ann Arbor Public Schools at 734-994-2300. Sapper also suggested checking the Next Door website or app to see if anyone in your neighborhood needs help around their house.

Volunteering infographic Credit: Josie Miller


If you’re not ready for a job, volunteering is another productive option for summer. You can easily volunteer at local places, like nursing homes, shelters, marathon races etc. “For volunteering, the Humane Society is always happy to have volunteers. They have an excellent training program,” Sapper says.  You can reach the Humane Society of Huron Valley at 734-662-4365. She also added that “Food Gatherers (734-761-2796) also can use teens to help pack up food and other related services. There are many local non-profit organizations that are glad to have teen volunteers any time.” If you have any further questions or concerns with careers, colleges or volunteering, stop by the cube at Skyline. They have a QR code to get more information on jobs that match with your interests, and can help answer your questions. 

Fun things to do with friends

Have you ever gotten together with a friend, but yet have no idea what to do for fun? Here are some ideas that will keep you both entertained and busy in the summer sun, all in the city of Ann Arbor.

Go to the Ann Arbor skatepark: Do you know how to skateboard, scooter, rollerblade, or rollerskate? If yes, then you’ll love the skatepark. The Ann Arbor Skatepark is located in Veterans Memorial Park, and is made to accommodate all skill levels. 

Take a trip to the Argo Cascades: Want to experience something more exciting than your average lake or pool? The Argo Cascades are the perfect way to have a fun day in the hot summer sun. They are located in downtown Ann Arbor.

See a movie: If you want to do something more chill than skating or tubing, the Michigan Theater or State theater are the ideal places to go. These sister theaters are also in downtown Ann Arbor, and are always showing the newest movies, as well as some classics. Connor McCallion, our film and entertainment writer, shared some new movies coming out this summer: 

  • Asteroid City (Release date: June 16th, 2023)
  • Oppenheimer (Release date: July 21st, 2023)
  • Barbie (Release date: July 21st, 2023) 

Here is a link to his article to learn more about movie ideas!

Go to Ann Arbor’s Top of the Park:  Top of the Park is an annual multi day music festival in downtown Ann Arbor. Top of the Park features many bands and artists from all over the world. If you want to learn more about their dates and times, click here.

Being Productive

Alaina Feliks from the writing center and shared some great tips and words of advice. She says to “make a plan” and to do what interests you the most. An example is joining a writing camp if you are interested in writing and want to get better before the school year. Feliks says there are many camps especially at colleges like MSU’s Summer Journalism Writing Camp. Feliks shared that she doesn’t expect students to be ahead for the school year because it is a time of relaxation and a chance for students to get a break from academics and to do what they love. Exercising, eating healthy, keeping a sleep schedule, are all important things to focus on over the summer. Having a healthy routine is a great way to not be overwhelmed when school comes around. 

Lake Michigan Sunset Credit: Josie Miller


“Reading is a vacation for your mind,” says Skyline Librarian Carolyn Hill. We all know that reading is important, but not everyone knows how to get a book that’s right for them, especially when the school year is over. But did you know that students can check out books from the Skyline Library over the summer?

If you want to learn more about summer reading resources, click here.  

Hill offered some great new book recommendations to make summer reading enjoyable. The Skyline Post also has some great book ideas here. Here’s what Hill recommends:

Firekeeper’s Daughter  by Angeline Boulley – Daunis Fontaine, 18, has never truly felt at home in either her hometown or the surrounding Ojibwe tribe. Although Daunis longs for a new beginning in college, a tragedy in the family forces her to put her plans on hold in order to care for her frail mother. Don’t miss the sequel to this book, Warrior Girl On Earth, which has just been released.

Happy Place by Emily Henry – Ex-fiancés Wyn and Harriet: a quick-witted charmer who dances through life and Harriet, and a conflict-averse surgical resident. They both belong to a close group of friends who, for the past ten years, have planned a yearly holiday to a modest cottage in Maine as a break from their regular lives.

I Have Some Questions for You by Rebecca Makkai – Bodie Kane, an accomplished movie professor and podcaster, is willing to put her past behind her. This includes the familial tragedy that ruined her adolescence, her four horrible years at a boarding school in New Hampshire, and the murder of her former roommate Thalia Keith in the spring of their senior year.