No Summer Plans?  Tips to Maximize Your Summer

Everyone is bustling around campus, working on finals, and preparing to say good-bye to Clark for the summer.  You may have also noticed those exciting Facebook or Instagram posts with your peers announcing their exciting summer plans: traveling abroad, moving to NYC for an internship, or volunteering at a cool NGO.  You’re happy for them, but you have no idea what to do this summer.  Fear not! I have some advice to help you maximize your summer, even if you didn’t get your dream internship.  

1. Volunteer in your area

Going home doesn’t have to mean hours of Netflix in bed or hanging with your old high school crowd.  Do some searching to see if there are any volunteer opportunities in your area.  Reach out to the local social service coordinator in your town to see if they know of anything.  The library, parks and rec, and even local animal rescue agencies are usually always looking for volunteers.  You won’t get paid, but you’ll do great work, meet new people, and it’s always something you can put on a resume.

2. Summer job

Retail, waitressing, grocery store clerk, etc- there are usually more openings for these jobs during the busy summer months.  This may not seem worthwhile but you’ll definitely earn some cash for fun trips or to put into your savings.  I worked at Stop and Shop the summer before sophomore year, just like in high school.  I have it on my resume and that customer service experience has been a great talking point at internship interviews. 

3. Take a class

It may not seem like vacation if you’re taking classes, but summer is a great time to sneak in some extra courses.  If you’re short a credit from dropping a course or looking to graduate early, see if any classes in your area would fulfill credits you need.  If you don’t want to pay for college courses, maybe take a first aid certification class or lifeguard training.  Those can be useful classes to get jobs down the line, plus they could open some doors to other opportunities.

4. Don’t stop looking 

It seems unlikely, but many places are still looking for interns.  One of my friends was looking for summer jobs in his hometown and stumbled across an amazing internship opportunity.  The application period was still open despite it being late-April.  He was able to do an interview with them just this week!  Do some digging, there could be awesome opportunities in your own town you never dreamed of.