Summer’s here, and you can finally relax! Well, sort of. If you didn’t have a summer internship lined up, you might find all of the relaxation time to be a bit... boring. How can you make the most of all the free time without sacrificing your sanity? Here’s a summer break bucket list that’ll keep your head in the game and keep you sharp come fall semester.
Get a part-time job. A no-brainer. You might rely on Mom and Dad (or student loans) to cover your expenses during the school year, but chances are, they won’t have the interest to fund your summer social life. Get a part-time job that not only pays, but pays well enough to help you tuck away a little to make student loan debt a bit less daunting come graduation. Trust us, you’ll be thankful for every penny you don’t have to pay back with interest. And if you’re feeling bold, aim for a gig that also looks good on your resume or is involved in the career field you’re interested in.
Take a trip. College isn’t going to last forever. Nor is your desire to stay in whatever college town you’re in. What better way to spend a summer than scoping out the places you’re considering for post-grad life? Go local. If you think you’ll love Chicago, or New Orleans, ask friends and friends of friends for connections (or simply for a place to stay), and take a trip to see what you’d really think of the city. (Remember: it is summer, and people are at their best. Winter will not look like this.)
Enroll in classes. Take a class that you will eventually need to. If you’re living close to campus and you have the time, consider knocking out the requisites and electives you’ll have to take sooner or later. You’ll find that at a minimum, it affords you more time during the schoolyear to focus on harder classes or explore other extra-curriculars and clubs.
Get in shape. You don’t really need another person telling you to hit the gym. But really, time is luxury. And if you have a lot of it, consider spending more time getting fit. There’s a whole culture out there of people who will feed you glute exercises and paleo recipes on social media. Follow them and see what happens.
Volunteer. A great way to get job experience in a field you’re interested is by working for free -- or volunteering. If you missed the deadline for internships, check and see if your dream company(s) would still take on a job shadow or volunteer for any period of time. It’ll keep you busy, help you decide if you really want to stay in your chosen field or not, and look great on your resume.
Remember your family. Don’t forget: now is when you actually have more time than you ever will. After college, when 10 business days encompass vacation time, your holidays won’t always be with family. Get fam-time in now. It will be irreplaceable.
Learn a skill. Now’s the time for code camp. Use your summer break to explore and learn a skillset you’ve been interested in, whether it’s professionally-related or just for fun. Local recreation centers, colleges, libraries and other institutions offer a slew of classes, from learning Wordpress to writing characters for creative nonfiction stories.
Relax. But really. When was the last time you actually took time to do nothing? Too often we can get so wrapped in our to-do’s, anxieties, desires, and life in general that we forget to slow down. Now, during summer break when you likely have more time than usual (and less to-do’s), use it to unwind and destress before the next term picks back up.
Try sports. Here’s your opportunity to gain an edge. If you want to prep for next semester’s intramurals, and be dazzling at it, get in the game now and develop some competency. Let’s be honest. The best part of college is athletics, even if you’re playing D1 football or club soccer. Learn the sport, the rules, and what’s important before you’re in front of a crowd.
Work on your resume. The sooner you start tackling this, the better. When you begin recognizing and then detailing on paper who you are and what you’ve done, you gain a better understanding of what needs improvement, deserves attention, etc. It is an absolutely boring and unrewarding experience, but we promise that once you begin to understand what you’re good at, you’ll understand where you want to go. Cheers.