For many of you, the school year is coming to an end and summer break is quickly approaching. While you should be focused on preparing for finals and avoiding college’s many distractions, it’s easy to start thinking ahead towards your 3-month break. Rather than spend your summer in your parent’s basement or your grandmother’s antique room (I’ve done both), your best bet may be to stay on campus during the summer.
Here are 5 reasons why:
5) You will improve your social life. Ok, sure, you partied your butt off all spring semester. And fall. And the previous year or 3. But summer on campus (particularly at larger schools) can offer exceptional opportunities to meet new people and pick your spots on when to party and when to lay low or lay in the sun. The summer is usually a time where people let their guard down and are willing to hang out with a different clique. We know you’ve been dying to have a drink with the debate team geeks or take that nude drawing course with the female goths who may be slightly obese. Now’s your time to expand your horizons and open your circle to the people you thought you couldn’t be seen with during the year – you might just meet your new best friend!
4) You will gain independence and become an adult. Oh no! There’s no more toilet paper in the utility closet! What do I do? Where are the pledges? Now that it’s summer and your usual crew isn’t around to hold your hand, you’ll have to start taking more adult responsibilities and rely less and less on others. This is good for your development. Instead of the usual cafeteria pile of mashed potatoes or your house-mother’s breakfast for dinner, you’ll actually go into that place called the grocery store (bonus points if it’s not a Wal-Mart) and actually make your own meal (bonus points if it involves more than your microwave). In the beginning, life will seem more complicated and cruel. But by the end, you’ll be patting yourself on the back and…. cursing yourself for turning into your parents. Don’t worry – chicks dig independent guys (and guys dig chicks that aren’t…..clingy as all hell.)
3) You can take classes at your own pace. We all know that kid who is trying to graduate in 3 years or a semester early. Don’t be that guy – he ends up working in a room without windows wondering why his use of the word “idiosyncratic” in his job interview didn’t get him the director of sales position – and he’s already so socially confused that he’s better off graduating early. But for the opposite minded folks – the ones who like college and want to enjoy it (but still finish over a normal time period) – the summer is a tremendous window for you to take a few courses so you can keep the full semesters light. Maybe you work part-time year round, have a full time significant other (or a full time single life), or maybe you just never EVER want to set your alarm before 7am again. Taking classes at your own pace allows you to keep the balance and sanity in your life. Don’t take Econ in the summer, though, because the TA’s confuse the 2’s with 7’s.
2) You can network and find a good job. “It’s not what you know – it’s who you know,” is something you’ve heard a million times by now. What should really be said is “Don’t be a dumbass. Don’t be lazy. Network like crazy.” The people you meet, particularly in your 20’s, will determine what you do the rest of your life. They’ll determine who you hang out with, who you’ll marry, where you’ll work, where you’ll live, and refine and compliment almost every perception about the world that you’ve ever had. The summer is when you’re expected (by your future employers) to be building your resume, gaining life experience, and developing your network of “people” that you’ll call upon in the future. The people that are on campus are likely more dedicated, more driven, and more social then the people that go home and brag about beard thickness or who has the best tan lines. Those people will be struggling to explain why their summer internship as the community life guard merits a junior accountant position at Ernst & Young. They may be able to help with the Pan-Pand dilemma, though.
1) You won’t have to live in your parent’s basement. If you’re like me, spending too much time with family is like choosing Chris Brown as a roommate. In the beginning, you think you’ll have a great time and grow closer with each day – by the end, you’re likely fighting each day and on the verge of putting one another in the hospital. Sure, you love your mom. You love your dad. You say you love your siblings when you talk to your friends because you feel like you’re supposed to say you love them. But a whole summer together? Are you nuts? Are you really going to go from binge drinking and ordering $3 pizzas at 5am to a world where you’re eating chickpea salad and cleaning your “room” for bridge night? Trust me – you can still visit them when you feel like being pampered for a few days – but the cat may have turned your bed into its litter box.