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Making the Best of Summer

Here are a few ideas for what you can you do to make the most of your summer break!

Summer is coming. For some, it’s a time to bank a few dollars for the next school year. Others use the time to travel. Maybe you just want to sit in your pajamas and play video games. Some choices might be better than others. Here’s a list of the top ten things you should do with your summer break.

  1. Summer Job – This is probably the best way to spend your time over summer break. Bonus if you can find a job that is related to your area of study. Working construction as an architecture student can help you understand the practical side of your studies.group of friends walking together
      
  2. Stay in touch with your professors – Whether it be for a letter of recommendation or to have a brain to pick for next semester's classes, it never hurts to stay in contact with a few professors. Just sending a simple “thank you” email can open up a lot of doors in the future. You could even get invited over for dinner next year!
      
  3. Read – You know that pile of books you skipped reading this semester? Take the summer to catch up. Those texts weren’t assigned just to be a burden to you. They’re full of useful information that you can apply going forward. Who knows, you might find your new favorite author in that novel you never got to in your English class.
      
  4. Volunteer – So you didn’t get a summer job, or maybe you only found one that is part time. That doesn’t mean you can’t beef up your resume. Volunteering is a great way to get some practical experience. Not to mention, you’re expanding your network and opening up a few more opportunities for letters of recommendation.
      
  5. Spend time on your hobbies – Now that you have time outside of studying, take more time to practice your photography. Pick up a new canvas and spend some time at the local park working on your landscapes. An extra hour a week on the guitar isn’t going to hurt.
      
  6. Hit the gym – Studying takes up a lot of time. Stress might make you eat more. Maybe you feel you got a little out of shape. It happens. Hit the gym and throw some weights around or go find a local trail and get those miles under your belt.
      
  7. Travel – Right now is the time in your life to stay in cramped hostels and not shower for weeks. Find that ridiculously good deal on airfare and go explore.
      
  8. Make a budget – It isn’t always easy to manage your finances when you’re under stress. Sometimes it’s easier to throw some money at the problem and hope to make it though. Now is the right time to figure out a budget for next year. And not only for money—plan a budget for your time, too.
      
  9. Online certifications – Microsoft, Adobe, and HubSpot all have a bunch out there. Some are free and others have fees, but all of them look good on a resume. Take some of your downtime and add a few marketable skills. It might not seem like much, but it could be the deciding factor in a job down the road.
      
  10. Summer school – This is probably one of the biggest fears of college students. But summer school can be great. Smaller class sizes mean more one-on-one attention from the professor. Deal with less stress the rest of the year because you’re taking fewer classes.

No matter how you spend your summer, do it with an eye on the future. While your whole educational career has ebbed and flowed by the semester or quarter, your careers will be different. The transition will be a lot smoother if you get ready for it now.