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16 things for teens to do this summer

(CBS MoneyWatch) July is already upon us, but there is still plenty of time left for your teenagers to make the most of their summers. For teens who need ideas, here are 16 to get them started:

1. Be political. With the presidential election just months away, lots of political candidate would be happy for the help.

2. Blog. Differentiate yourself from millions of other teenagers by blogging. You'll be more successful if you write about something you're passionate about, whether it's street art or field hockey. You can get a free blog at WordPress or Blogger.

3. Create a LinkedIn account. It's never too early to start networking. Once you've set up an account, join LinkedIn groups tied to your interests.

4. Learn a new language. There are plenty of free sites online to help people get started on a new language, including Open Culture and

5. Sleep in. According to a report by the National Sleep Foundation, adolescents and pre-adolescents need 8.5 to 9.25 hours of sleep a night, which they often don't get during the school year. Just don't make sleeping in a habit.

6. Read. Here's a "best books" list for teens from the Chicago Public Library. And here's the "best of the best" list from the Young Adult Library Services Association.

7. Intern. It's too late to land a summer internship, but nothing is stopping teens from looking for a fall internship.

8. Volunteer. An easy way to find opportunities to donate time is at Even if you're not feeling it, the cynical reason to help is to pad your resume.

9. Sell stuff. Hold a garage sale. Or sell stuff you, your parents, or siblings don't want on CraigsList or eBay.

10. Study for the SAT and/or ACT. It's a shame that students can't take the SAT or ACT during the summer, when they actually have time, but the off months is a great time to prepare for the tests. (Here is an awesome site to improve you SAT math score: PWN the SAT.)

11. Create how-to videos on YouTube. Maybe your videos will go viral!

12. Try meditation. Meditating is a skill young people could find useful in college. A new study suggests meditation can make them more productive, focused, and less stressed.

13. Make homemade holiday gifts in advance. Your parents would rather have homemade gifts. Really. And it will save you money.

14. Listen to podcasts. It's amazing what you can learn on podcasts. My favorites include This American Life, Radio Lab, Freakonomics, and Real Time With Bill Maher. You can find tons more on iTunes.

15. Learn how to change a tire. You'll be glad you did if you ever find yourself stranded on the side of a road.

16. Create goals. Summer is a wonderful time to ponder what you want to do with the rest of your life. Why not start now?

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