Well-off kids who don’t have to work or take care of a sibling during the summer can embark on elaborate journeys to find or foster their passion. They can volunteer for an HIV program in Africa, study health care in the Caribbean or immerse themselves in Mandarin in China. They can code at camp, hone up on Graph Theory and Combinatorics at Harvard or do an internship at the Stanford Medical School (beware: last year 1,300 kids applied for 70 spots.)

Starting in high school, many parents wonder how to structure their kids’ summers…

“Colleges will forever find holding a job more attractive, and far sexier than going to Costa Rica to build houses and surf in the afternoons,” said Susan Warner, an independent college counselor in New York City…

Colleges want kids who know who they are and what they want. Jobs can help with that.

Another perk: they have to put away their phones.

Instead of helping kids tailor the most impressive-sounding summer, maybe we should help them with a character-building one.

“A job is an opportunity for a kid to have exposure to something they won’t at any other time in their life,” said Harvard’s Weissbourd.

Source: Teens should have summer jobs, the less glamorous the better — Quartz