Hello all! I’m currently a junior and I’m debating whether or not to do a summer program. I’ve never done one in my freshman or sophomore year summers since I highly prefer self-studying and doing things on my own than doing things through a program. Furthermore, I spend a good deal of my summer time visiting relatives/traveling and helping out in the family, so it’s pretty hard to schedule summer programs around those.
I decided around September that I’m going to set aside June for a certain summer program this year. I wasn’t able to get into that summer program I wanted, and I’m considering replacing it with another one. The issue is that it’s extremely expensive (around $5K including transportation), I’d have to take a plane alone to the place, and I’d end up missing the last 2 days of school, meaning I’d have to do my finals a week earlier. Another issue is that I’m going to be participating in the Breakthrough Junior Challenge, which lasts through the first 1.5 weeks of the program, so that might interfere with my focus in that summer program.
Personally I really want to just spend my summer doing self-study, research, and working on the Breakthrough Junior Challenge video, but at the same time I feel like I’m missing out by not participating in a summer program. 5 of my friends and I’m sure many more at my school have gotten accepted into pretty good summer programs (COSMOS, SIP, CASP, etc) already, and I know another 20 or so classmates who are doing some summer program. Would participating in a summer program make a big difference in college admissions and are they really worth it?