By: Molly Katz
With summer approaching rapidly, students are finalizing their plans for the break. In a Helios survey sent to students, including the options of a job, an internship, an academic summer program, camp, travel, and community, the majority of respondents indicated that they will be going to camp, some as campers and others as counselors. While many students are returning to camps they have been attending for years, others are going to new camps that are specifically geared toward high schoolers or have a more specific focus than a common summer camp.
Sophomore Mariel Priven is attending Szarvas, a camp in Hungary for Jewish teens. She chose to participate in the program because of the positive recommendations she received from people who described “the incredible, unique experiences they had there.” Additionally, the campers’ different Jewish backgrounds played a role in her decision. Priven said, “My strong Jewish community has always been a vital aspect of my life. Having this strong community is a privilege rather unique, and I wanted to be able to share the experiences I’ve had with Jews from all over, who perhaps weren’t surrounded by Judaism the way I was.”
Other students have jobs and internships lined up for the upcoming months. One such student, junior Gidon Kaminer, will be doing a Science Research internship at NYU, specifically in machine learning and artificial intelligence research. This will be his second year interning in this lab, having started there through the Science Research Initiative offered at Heschel. He is “most excited for going back to the lab and seeing my professor again, and resuming work on the project I was working on last summer.”
Most students checked off multiple boxes, a testament to the way students fill their summers to the brim with plans and allow for very little down time. 34% of respondents are traveling throughout their summers, often in the windows of time between the multiple events they have scheduled.
As high schoolers, many students are looking ahead toward college, and they consider what might look impressive on their resumes when choosing their summer activities. To some, summer comes with the added pressure of filling one’s time with programs or commitments that will ideally be received well by admissions officers, while others feel that their choice of summer plans should only be reliant on what they find fun or interesting rather than focused towards their college applications.
Sophomore Gabi Epstein believes that “one must think about what is considered ‘good for college’ when making plans outside of school and more specifically for the summer.” Kaminer, on the other hand, “signed up for Science Research because I wanted to conduct research of my own in the field I am interested in, computer science. I was not thinking about colleges in freshman year, nor was I thinking about college in sophomore year.” He explained that his choice of internship was “purely because I am interested in it. I’d love to have something to show for it, but to be honest if I don’t end up doing that, I will still be perfectly satisfied with the experience.”