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January 30, 2009

The Time of Your Life

This Extra Ink was written by Betsy C.

It feels like summer might never come. Here in the Northeast I'm stuck in the depths of winter, doing homework and staring out at the ice and snow. But in just a few months, long as they might seem, it will get warm again and summer break will be upon us. Believe it or not, now is the time to start thinking about and even applying to summer jobs, camps, and internships. I know that doing anything but relaxing over summer vacation might sound appalling right now, but I can also say that the summer programs I went to in high school were honestly the most fun and enriching experiences I had as a teenager. Check out some of the links below, and keep an open mind.

The Teen Ink Summer Programs Directory is the perfect place to start. We've found a bunch of different programs for teens, most of them focused on academics or the arts. Some programs even offer college credit! The Johns Hopkins program I attended in high school helped me skip a semester in college, and trust me--when you're trying to pay tuition, every little bit of credit helps!

If you're looking for something a little more exotic, you might want to try studying or volunteering in another country. There are tons of programs out there, and it only takes a bit of research to find one that's just right for you. A few good places to start your search are Transitions Abroad and Allen's Guide: Teen Travel. There are so many programs out there that you'll be able to do just about anything in just about any country, from language immersion in France to working at an orphanage in Guatemala.

Of course, you can find jobs and volunteer work close to home, too. Check your local library, animal shelter, or soup kitchen, or find a summer job through sites like CoolWorks.com or SummerJobs.com. The possibilities are truly endless!

You might be feeling cold and uninspired right now, but summer (and, oh help, exams) will be upon us very soon. Now is the time to reserve your spot in one of these great programs. Trust me: you'll have the time of your life.

Make sure to check out our latest contest: love poetry! Go to FaceBook or MySpace to find it, or e-mail betsy@teenink.com.

Do you know what's up at teenink.com? We're getting ready to add some great new features. Make sure to check us out often!

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