How Should I Spend My Summer? Options for College Students

by | May 5, 2022 | College Planning | 0 comments

Summer’s just around the corner, and whether it’s your last summer vacation before embarking onto your college career or a break between existing college semesters, you may have some questions about how to make the most of your summer.

You may be tempted to just soak up the sun and take it easy over summer, and you should definitely make some time to relax! However, summer offers a long stretch of time that could easily be used to help you reach some goals and set yourself up for future success.

Here are some summer options that could have you coming back to campus refreshed and accomplished.

Option 1: Get Ahead (or Catch Up) on Your Studies

We may think of summer as a time off from school, but that’s not necessarily the case. Most colleges and universities offer summer classes in a variety of formats and lengths. You can even fit a class that would normally take a full semester into a much shorter time frame (usually with longer, more frequent meetings).

Summer can be an excellent time to fit in a class that’s been evading your schedule or focus your attention on a class you need to retake or have been concerned about. Summer class schedules are in some ways more intense, but they also allow you to put all your energy into a single class or two rather than juggling demands from multiple instructors at once.

Option 2: Get a Travel-Friendly Summer Job

The labor force has long recognized that there will be an influx of college students during the summer months, and this coincides with temporary industries that pop up around vacations and tourism.

You can combine these realities by seeking out a summer job in a far-flung locale and get to travel while also earning some extra money — or at least cover your wanderlust and some souvenirs.

Option 3: Intern in Your Field

Feeling ambitious? The summer can be a great time to get a leg-up in your field and bring your theoretical learning into the real world. Seek out internships that fit your future career goals. If you can’t find any, propose some!

Put together a proposal and reach out to places you’d love to work someday. Be sure to include the duties you could fulfill and the value you would bring to their workplace needs while showcasing how they can help you gain skills and experience.

Option 4: Take a True Break

We don’t all get the luxury of a “gap year,” the chance to take a break between high school and college for relaxing, self-reflection, and adventure. Summer can be a chance to fit in that kind of rest, relaxation, and recreation in a smaller dose.

If you’ve been yearning to travel, make art, hang out with friends, read your favorite novels, or just binge watch those TV shows you couldn’t keep up with all school year long, this summer might just be the time to take a break and prevent burnout.

Option 5: Do It All!

It can be easy to fall into an all-or-nothing mindset about summer. It’s only a few short months, but that can be plenty of time to mix and match some of the above options. Work out a short-term job or internship and give yourself time to still relax and recharge.

The most important thing is to prioritize what you want, set it up against your budget and opportunities, and start planning early. Scrambling to find a last-minute job or booking flights without getting the chance to shop around can leave you cash-strapped and stressed out.


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