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Making the Most of Summer after Freshman Year

With less than two weeks of school left, summer seems to be on everyone’s mind. As I wrap up my first year of college, I’ve started to think of how to make the most out of my time this summer.


So, how do I do that? Here are five tips Northwestern students gave me to help make this the most productive summer yet:


1)    Get any type of work experience

If you are planning on being an intern somewhere this summer, make sure you really invest yourself in the projects and discussions you have with your bosses. “Working hard and showing your curiosity will really maximize your benefit from whatever company you’re working at,” says sophomore Amanda Ritter, who snagged an internship last summer after her freshman year.

However, if you don’t have an internship, don’t panic! As long as you get some type of work experience, whether it be babysitting, waitressing, or volunteering you will be fine. “If you’re being productive and doing something with your summer besides laying by the pool, I think that’s always valuable,” says Kayla West, a Northwestern student who worked at a healthcare clinic last summer.


2)    Find a place to work where the ideas excite you.

Internships and jobs are the perfect time for you to delve into learning more about your interests and passions. “It was a wonderful experience to really get to explore a different passion that I don’t necessarily get to explore here at school,” Amanda says of her internship. As an RTVF (Radio, Television & Film) and Political Science double major, she interned at a major law firm last summer – and loved it.


3)    Set goals for yourself.

Summer is always the best time to get done what you’ve always said you’d do. Sophomore Brooke Sloan said that after ending freshman year, she realized she wanted to do two things during her summer: read many, many books and become better at graphic design. She also found it beneficial! She has been able to show off the graphics she created over the summer.

Similarly, Kayla set goals for herself in fitness and took part in a summer workout program. Whatever goals you set for yourself, just remember to be realistic and to stick to them!


4)    Create a routine and follow it.

Finding a routine will make your life so much easier and help you be more productive. In addition to reading many books and learning graphic design, Brooke also interned at a magazine and worked at a restaurant. How did she manage all of this? By having a routine. Staying organized and setting up a schedule for yourself will boost your productivity, help you stay on top of things and make your life more stress-free.


5)    Still enjoy summer and relax!

Speaking of being stress-free, you shouldn’t spend your whole summer in a tiny little office working your day away. Of course, do your best at your internship or job and show off your skills, but also go out and enjoy the weather, your friends, family and everything else! Is it really summer if you don’t have a little bit of fun?

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Ana Cordera


Ana is a sophomore at Northwestern University pursuing a Journalism degree and a certificate in Integrated Marketing Communications.
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