Alas, summer is finally here giving college students from coast to coast something to cheer about – NO MORE WORK. However by the time mid-August roles around many students find themselves feeling that angst they experienced during finals period. Do not let this happen to you! Combat this by having the summer of your dreams by making every second count.
1. Make a Goals List
A goals list will keep you on track so that August doesn’t roll around and you wonder what happened to summer. It will remind you what you want to achieve over break, so that you can make the most of it.
2. Spend time with people you care about
Summer break leaves you with more free time to spend with people. Do not let yourself get completely consumed with work that you neglect your family and friends! In addition, summer gives you time to reconnect with old friends from high school, camp, and maybe even grammar school.
3. Get an internship or job
With the job market as a competitive as it is, these days a college diploma is not all that one needs to score that dream job. It is important to build up a solid resume that demonstrates commitment, ambition, and passion. Try looking for an internship via people you know, your college’s career center, and online search engines such as idealist.org, simplyhired.com, or internships.com. Don’t know what you want to do yet? No worries, landing an internship is a good way to start figuring that out.
4. Research careers
Know what you want to do with your future? Have no clue? You can research either way. For those students who were born knowing that they wanted to be the next Wall Street investor or internet tycoon a little research and planning never hurt anyone. For those who have no clue what they want to do research can help to weed out occupations that you know you would not be good at or would not enjoy. Learn more about careers via industry publications (such as Adage.com for advertising), guides such as vault.com or careerguide.org.
5. Take part in informational interviews or shadow someone in a field of interest
There is no better way to learn about a career than first-hand experience. If you know someone in an occupation you may want to get involved in, contact them and ask them if you could talk with them over coffee or even shadow them for a day. If you do not have a person in mind look into contacting alum from your school, usually they are more than happy to help. You can offer ask them if it would be okay to send them questions via e-mail or even do a information interview over the phone.
Volunteer work can bring to mind what we care about as individuals can incite a passion we hadn’t considered, is a good way to meet new people, and can just make us feel good! There is a shortage of caring and passionate volunteers, so there is always a need.
7. Develop a skill or interest
The school year does not leave much time to focus on things that we really care about outside of schoolwork, clubs and other “extracurricular activities”. Summer is a good time to reflect on what interests you and to work on strengthening those interests. If you do not know what interests you or have any hobbies pick up a new hobby or skill. A physical project is a good idea because you can finish the summer with something and feel like you’ve been productive. Ideas include: DIY fashion crafts, building a computer or car, taking up photography or making a movie.
8. Read a book of your choosing
There is barely enough time to get through those dense textbooks (and some of us do not even finish those. In fact, some of us do not even start those). So read a book, you actually want to read. If you do not learn something new it can teach you to think about something in a different way and enhance creativity. College sometimes makes us forget that reading can actually be quite a pleasurable activity.
9. Take a trip
Travel! Visit friends from school (or go home!). In addition there are a ton of volunteer trips organized for college students that give you a chance to explore a new place while giving back to the community. For those us who are more daring try low-cost accommodations offered through organizations like Couch Surfers and WOOF. Couch Surfers allows you to connect with a network of travelers who will offer you there couch to sleep on for a couple of nights. WOOF is an organization for organic farmers that offer accommodations in exchange for you working on their farm.
10. Plan for next semester
Do not leave yourself in a bind, because you know that you are already going to be busy, come the start of the school year. Start applying to Fall internships and job positions, order your books, and other items you may need. For rising sophomore this could be a good time to figure out your major!
Photo Credits: planetgreen.discovery.com/travel-outdoors/road-trip-10-ways-to-save-gas-and-money.html, jmyerswritingblog.blogspot.com, stantonssheetmusic.wordpress.com, www.geauga.org, thepioneerwoman.com, Hollywood.com, www.ladatingblog.com, youqueen.com, dreamstime.com