There is absolutely nothing wrong with resting and having fun over your summer break. In fact, we encourage it! Your body and mind need that space to relax, recalibrate, and get ready for a new year of school.
However, while you should certainly be taking some time to do some restful, rejuvenating things, there is ample time during the summer to pour into yourself and your future life in a variety of different ways. Take advantage of the time you have this summer to make some goals, grow as a person, and maybe even make a little cash to tuck away for during the year or for a big purchase you’ve been saving for.
We’ve put together a list of suggestions for you to consider over the summer months. By no means do we think you should do all of these things; simply consider which ones might make sense for the life stage and season you’re in.
1. Get a job
Most college students end up working a job over the summer in order to earn enough to pay for things like rent (if you’re in an apartment), gas, groceries, and other necessities. While you might be living with your parents over the summer, it’s still a good idea to get a job so you can at least have some savings to fall back on once the school year rolls back around and you don’t have as much time.
Consider nannying or working in retail or at a restaurant. If you’re having trouble finding something, ask around. Networking is one of the best ways to get a job—you never know who might know someone else who’s looking to hire a college student for the summer!
2. Get an internship
Many internships only add up to a few hours a week, so consider applying and interviewing for an internship that you can add to your resume in the future. An internship is a great way to get hands-on experience in a job that you’re considering for the future. While some internships are paid, others are not, so be intentional when you’re applying if you’re needing your internship to be a paid gig.
The wonderful thing about internships is that they can lead to a paid job after graduation. While an internship may seem like a low-stakes experience, it’s still important to put your best foot forward and work really hard. If you’re really interested in working for a certain company or with a specific brand, spending time as an intern at that business will give you a leg up on anyone else who’s vying for the same position you are.
3. Learn a new skill
Your summer months don’t have to be solely focused on your future. At the very least, try taking on learning a new skill over the summer. Flexing that “learning” muscle is a great way to utilize your time and make sure your brain is staying fresh over the break. Try learning French or mastering the backstroke at your local lake. Take up knitting or learn how to cook a few different amazing meals. Whatever you’re interested in, give it a try!
Learning new skills can be especially fun in a group, so don’t shy away from joining your local hiking club or taking a summer class or two. Depending on the class, you might even be able to get credit toward your major, which will cut down on the number of credits you’ll need to have this coming semester. Either way, learning something new can be a huge benefit to you in an array of different ways.
Studying abroad can expand your horizons and give you a new perspective on life. Packing up for a whole three months and spending time in another country will give you time to sink into the culture and get to know daily life there. If you don’t have the time or money to study abroad, consider some shorter trips. A road trip to a new city can be chock full interesting sights and give you some time to rest, learn, and have fun with loved ones.
Consider going somewhere you’ve never gone before, and watch as you make memories you’ll take with you for the rest of your life.