With summer vacation brings the hopes of relaxation and rehabilitation from the previous semester and school year. As myself and many others desire, sleeping in becomes a lovely kickback, and not having deadlines is a sweet relief.
For myself, I realize I may be in the nerdy minority, but the first two weeks of summer are an unbelievable time of relaxation and waking up naturally. However, I soon begin to feel that anxiety creep in of the impending semester, internships, blog posts, volunteering, and other responsibilities to take on. I would rather be over-prepared than wait until the last minute. Similar to this, I enjoy being a step ahead of others. It is because of the simultaneous feel of anxiety and desire that drives me to continue grinding during the summer months in order to be more successful during the academic year.
The fact is, summer break is at least two months – A vital time period in which you could be building your resume and getting ahead in your future career. So don’t take a break just because the school calendar says you can. Continue to chase after those high expectations and goals, and you will see the results faster!
- Work hard and save money. I like to use the free app DB Classic for tracking my income and spending, as it’s helped encourage me to save money. (Available for iPhone and Android).
- Volunteer in your community. Not only is it beneficial for your soul to serve others, but it looks great on a resume. If you let the agency you are volunteering with know your educational and career goals, they could go out of their way to ensure you get relevant experience.
- Network and make more connections. This could include developing a more professional LinkedIn profile, or meeting people face to face, as it almost seems like a dying art. It’s important to remember that you’ll need to get out of your comfort zone, but when you are in pursuit of your passion, leaving comfort seems like a simple sacrifice.
- Build your professional portfolio. In community college, one of my lovely professors had my class develop a binder or portfolio with all of the relevant papers. This would include: Resume, cover letter, personal statement, list of references, examples of writing, the code of ethics of your profession, copies of all certifications, immunizations, awards and honors, professional memberships, etc. all of which would have updated pdf files on a drive available in the back of the binder.
- Read books while you have the spare time to do so. These could be easy-to read, fun and relaxed books, or it could include books on your profession that would involve more attention to the content as you learn from it. Either way, summer break is the time to utilize your time!
- Get ahead on tasks you normally don’t have time for. For me, this would be banking on blog posts and printables, It’s also beneficial to start forming habits and routines in the summer, so that they are more difficult to break when the semester begins – Whether it be drinking more water, exercising every day, or waking up earlier, feel free to get all the trial and error part out of the way when there’s not much going on.
- Order your textbooks ahead of time. If you so desire, you could begin the readings for the semester at a light and non-stressful pace. I enjoy doing this a couple of weeks before the semester begins so my mind recalls what I read.
- Start planning for your semester. Know what your schedule will look like, and try beginning a new sleep routine if necessary. Moreover, if you’re involved in clubs and societies and their boards, start brainstorming and putting together activities now so it’s less stressful during the semester.
- Intern or shadow within your area of interest. An internship would be a great experience to put under your belt and on your resume, but if you don’t have the time or resources, job shadowing is an excellent alternative to view many different positions, and to help narrow down a particular field of interest.
- Go to libraries, book stores, museums, and art galleries. It is important to continue learning and experiencing culture. In order to do that, it’s necessary to engulf yourself in those worlds and soak up all the interesting knowledge being offered.
- Learn a language. Duolingo is my go-to (and free!) app, as well as materials I continue to hold close from high school and early college courses. It may take a while as a self-taught language learner, but it will be worth it!
- Try something very new and different. For me, this would be coding. It is all the rage, and a sought after skill. I enjoy using the free app Grasshopper, as it helps beginners in the coding world understand the basics.
- Go on a cleanse and get healthy! As a fellow college student and coffee-holic, I completely understand the caffeine withdrawal that takes place after not getting my morning cup (or let’s be real…3 cups). But over the summer, while school deadlines are not beating down your door, try your best to use decaffeinated everything, and decrease your sugar intake. Also make sure you’re drinking plenty of water – My doctor recommends I drink at least 100 ounces a day. Perhaps even reach for that salad instead of unhealthier options, as it’s likely that your hectic semester resulted in gained pounds. The summer is the time to get active, shave off that weight put on, and get your mind and body ready for the next leg of academics ahead.
May this summer bring you a relaxed mind and body, with a simultaneous strive for success and working while others are sleeping. With that ferocious attitude, you just might make it.
Take a look at my similar blog post about Winter Break!