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7 Things to do this Summer Instead of an Internship

It’s March, and you don’t have an internship lined up; not with KPMG, Deloitte, Goldman Sachs – not even with the local accounting firm. Not to worry! There are so many (seven) things you can do that will still look good on your resume, sound great in an interview, and feel way better than clocking a 9-to-5.

1. Volunteer

Figure out how you’d be willing to spend your time for free – something you’re passionate about – and go do it! This could be petting cats and dogs, contributing to a local political campaign, serving meals to the homeless, etc. The best part is that you don’t need to find an organization to do it. Take initiative, venture out and do something that will make you feel good. This could mean reaching out to a nearby retirement home and spending time with a person who has no one, or maybe you have a skill or talent that you can hone in to provide a service for homeless or at-risk persons. Personally, I’ll be working with my special-needs sister and dedicating time to spend with her.

2. Start a business

Entrepreneurship! A scary and exciting word. If you’ve ever had a great idea, simple as it may be, go after it. Being young and starting something for yourself, by yourself, can be exhilarating, a much-needed learning curve, and something you may not have the fearlessness to pursue later in life. Make birdhouses if you’re handy, sell baked goods, or do some strange cryptocurrency stuff. The world is your oyster. All you need to do is differentiate yourself, market your business, and provide value to your customers – oh, plus the other thing: make money!

TIP: Your mom’s yoga group could become the place you find your first customer.

3. Find a hobby

Everyone has something they’d rather be doing than sitting through a lecture. And Netflix doesn’t count. If you’d rather be cooking, explore the world of gastronomy. You write? Start on a book, contribute to local papers, or join Medium.com to self-publish. When your mountain-hiking blog takes off you could be on your way to becoming the next big influencer! Hobbies help us understand who we are and they provide insight on the characteristics that make you, you. Pursue what catches your eye; you never know where that path could take you.

4. Self-educate or go to college!

Colleges offer a vast array of courses for much cheaper than uni tuition. This could be an opportunity to learn more about something you’re interested in outside of your major, and adds an interesting talking point to your resume. Maybe fashion design? Pastry? Wine? Or coding?

If you don’t want to attend college, the internet has made it possible to self-educate yourself on any topic you can think of. With a laptop and a few hours a week, you can become an expert on soft cheeses, Baroque art, or Spanish before September rolls around.

5. Join community activities

One of the best ways to meet new and like-minded people is to join a community activity. For example, for me, that’ll be drop-in appearances at my community volleyball league, and hitting up any food-related activity I can find! Do something you find fun, and be open to socializing. All you need to do is go to your town’s website and find free, drop-in, or programmed activities. Make sure to attend Ribfest or a Food Truck Festival; go to art pop-ups or karaoke nights at a bar. Along the way you’re guaranteed to meet interesting people and most importantly, have a good time.

6. Achieve those goals you’ve been putting off forever

You know the ones… “Learn French”; “Get fit”; “Start meditating”; “Figure out what I want to do with my life”. Well, now is the time. There is no real excuse to put these things off anymore. You either admit to yourself that you are a lazy couch potato, or you achieve something. Start taking small steps, and hold yourself accountable for hitting those “deliverables”, so to speak. Before you know it, you’ll have perfected another language, have abs of steel, or even feel somewhat emotionally stable! But seriously, with four months off, the self-improvement options are endless.

Here are a few helpful suggestions for a better you:

  • Talk to a new person each day

  • Sweat once everyday

  • Take a day to throw out/donate everything that doesn’t add value to your life

  • Meet up for coffee with someone different every week or month

  • Read a new book every week or month

  • Meditate every morning

And many more…

7. Get a really fun job

Just because you aren’t working an internship doesn’t mean you can’t have an awesome job. Part-time and full-time employment comes in a multitude of forms, but pick something that appeals to your true, unprofessional self. A good place to find inspiration is the “interests” section in that resume-thingy we all have. If your interests include beauty and fashion, find a job in retail. Sports-related interests? Work at a stadium or an equipment store. Music? Your favourite music festival or instrument store could use the help. There’s something out there for you, and a cool job is one where you’ll want to make a difference, take initiative, and achieve new things that you can boast about in your updated post-summer resume. You’ll have had a great time and developed new skills along the way – win-win!

Bonus: Chill out!

Have fun, hang out with your friends, step away from the pressures of school. At the end of the day, you’re young, and you don’t need to worry about bulking up your resume or doing crazy things to fill your time. It’s good to be busy, but it can be even better to relax. Chilling out doesn’t mean doing nothing, but it can mean doing personally fulfilling things without looking for utter success and fulfillment. I’ll be traveling this summer, and hanging out with my friends. I’ll also be working and looking to achieve various goals, as well as getting involved in my community and learning more about random topics – like soft cheeses.

So however you spend your summer, enjoy it, because “Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time.” – John Lennon.

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