Summer: College vs. High School

It's that time of the year again. Finals are quickly approaching, and after that it's summer break. Since being in college, more specifically being a rising junior, I have realized that there is a lot less room for free time and fun once school is out. In two years, I will officially graduate and be let out into the real world, and in order to prepare for that, I along with many other college students need to start drafting out a game plan.

Summer jobs. Internships. Meeting with advisors and career planning. 

These are just a few of the many things that students find themselves doing with that extra time during the summer. This, compared to possibly working a summer job during my high school career, is certainly a drastic change. Honestly, it can be a bit scary, too. There is so much information that is taken in, along with so many different types of career paths that begin to become clearer once one moves through their collegiate career. With all of the information available, there is also an abundance of resources for students to turn to if they should feel overwhelmed. I know for a fact that I am not an expert at figuring out my career path, but I feel confident that there are people and organizations that are available to me and any students that may feel the same as I do.

My first tip would be to stay in touch with your advisor. It is their job to find career opportunities in the area that students could potentially find themselves getting involved in, and they should always be there to answer any questions you have, big or small. If you have not already, I would recommend meeting with your advisor before the semester ends, just to make sure that you are taking all of the classes needed for your major, as well as having a conversation with your advisor about seeking out internships during the summer to get more hands-on experience in whatever field you are studying. 

I know, it would be a lot nicer if sometimes we didn't have to think so far ahead and plan our pathway, but it is actually helpful to think about this now, rather than graduate and feel stuck or lost. So, ask all of the questions you have, find a list of the numerous resources available to you in and out of your university, and think positively about your future! Do all of the hard work now, so that you won't have to when the time comes to organize a career path for yourself. Again, talk to your advisor, and he or she can give you the best advice about what you could do over the summer to possibly build your resume, as well as help you gain some experience in the career you wish to pursue when you graduate. 

Another great resource is your school's career center. It is never to early to think about what you want to do with your degree, and I should mention that it shouldn't be seen as daunting to meet with career services. They are there to help and take the pressure off, so feel free to go to them with any concerns about your academic path, as well as what classes you should or need to take in order to finish strong. 

After meeting with your advisor to discuss any concerns with scheduling, look into any internship opportunities that might be sent your way. For example, my advisor sends emails out to students with internship opportunities. Make sure to read those! Don't ever doubt yourself or your abilities. Apply to that internship, look for that new job, and start getting excited about the future. Summer as a college student is entirely different than it was for most of us in high school, but this is when the real fun begins. Enjoy it!

Summer vacation as a college student has an entirely different meaning than that of a high school student. There are many more responsibilities and far more career planning that goes into it, which is the fun part! There will always be time to have more fun, so don't ever get discouraged at the idea that there won't be time for relaxation during this time in college. However, it is important to stay focused and focus on the path that you want to create for yourself. You've got this!



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