Did your summer plans change and you’ve now got some extra time and the itch to travel? Or maybe this summer’s job is so boring that you’re already thinking about getting away next summer. Whatever your situation, consider traveling and its many benefits. You’ll see the world anew, experience diverse cultures, gain valuable experience, make friends for a lifetime, and so much more.

Summer Travel

Summer is full of possibilities for fun and adventure. However, it doesn’t always live up to expectations. If none of your friends are around and you don’t have homework or other tasks to keep you busy, boredom might rear its ugly head. How can you slay the beast of boredom and stay productive this summer?

Learn New Things

School may be out, but that doesn’t have to put a pause on your learning. In fact, it actually frees you up to learn about the things that have always piqued your interest and for which you never had time because of school. To keep your mind sharp, explore new ideas, and even pick up some marketable skills, try some of the following:

  • Take a free online course through a platform like codecademy, Coursera, edX, or Open Culture.
  • Get a head start on next quarter’s classes by getting your textbooks early. Even if you don’t have a syllabus for your upcoming classes, you can still get ahead by browsing the table of contents, glossary, and index.
  • Listen to enriching Podcasts. These could help you learn a new language, better understand everyday science, or train your brain for more-efficient learning.

Find a Project

Everyone has things they’ve been dying to do but simply haven’t found time for. Summer presents the perfect opportunity. Maybe you want to write a novel or memoir about your semester overseas. Maybe your parents need help repainting the house. Brainstorm ideas for projects that could fill both your summer break and your soul with a sense of accomplishment.

You may also want to volunteer. Find local opportunities to tutor younger students, help animals in need, and provide services for those who don’t have enough. You’ll learn about your community and how good it feels to give back and you’ll have something special to add to your resume.

Read

Reading is not only fun, it also has significant benefits that can help you when you go back to school. Reading can:

  • Reduce stress
  • Improve critical thinking skills
  • Increase knowledge
  • Expand vocabulary
  • Sharpen memory
  • Boost writing skills

Whether you read the hottest title on the bestseller, a classic novel or a cookbook, it’s hard to go wrong when you’re relaxing under the summer sun with some lemonade and a good book. All reading is good reading.

Establish Healthy Habits

Maybe the hectic routine of college life got you into some bad habits, like eating nothing but microwaved meals. Use your summer to re-establish healthy habits you let slide during the school year:

  • Explore the outdoors by going hiking, biking, or just taking long walks. Find some beautiful natural scenery, and take some Instagram photos to make your friends jealous.
  • Get into a healthy eating routine. Summer is prime time for farmers’ markets and produce stands so why not add those veggies back to your diet and snack on in-season fruit instead of processed foods? And why not walk or cycle to the market instead of driving?
  • Encourage your friends and family to hop on the health bandwagon. Working out with a buddy will make it much more likely for you to stick to your plan.
  • Brainstorm ways you can keep up good habits even when you’re juggling classes, homework, and social events at school.

Forget the lazy days of summer — make your break productive. Learn new things, complete a project, or get in shape. When you head back to school, you’ll free refreshed and ready to take on the challenges of the new year.


As the mercury climbs, college kids everywhere are preparing for road trips to some of America’s hottest festivals. But where should you go? If your itinerary is still up in the air, consider checking out these awesome events.

Lollapalooza: World’s Best Musical Showcase

Line-ups don’t get more eclectic than Lollapalooza, which has becomes a long-running summer tradition. Just about every genre and musical era are represented, with artists like Paul McCartney, Metallica, Florence and the Machine, and Hot Chip on the bill. You’ll be on your feet for more than 12 hours each day, so pack comfy shoes!

Lollapalooza hits Chicago’s Grant Park from July 31 to August 2 this year. General admission tickets are sold out, but out-of-towners will save money on travel packages, which include local accommodation, your choice of general admission, VIP, or platinum passes, and some swag to take home. Travel packages start from $1,735.

Burning Man: Iconic Arts and Culture Festival

For something truly exceptional, head to Burning Man. From August 30 to September 7, more than 65,000 free spirits will converge on Nevada’s Black Rock City. It’s a truly alternative festival, without a bill of bands or a schedule, and the gathering celebrates art, music, sustainability, community, and higher consciousness.

Burning Man’s OMG Sale will commence at noon PST on August 5. A thousand $390 tickets and 1250 $50 vehicle passes will be released as part of this sale. Registration is required for this special sale, and takes place from noon on July 29 to noon on August 1.

Summerfest: America’s Biggest Festival

Between 800,000 and 1 million music lovers visit Summerfest each year, making it America’s biggest festival. It’s also one of the cheapest, with one-day passes priced at just $19. That won’t get you into Marcus Amphitheater, where big names like the Rolling Stones, Keith Urban, Stevie Wonder, and Florida Georgia Line play, but you will get to see performances on other stages dotted around Milwaukee’s Henry Maier Festival park. Doing the festival on the cheap is a great way to discover new musical acts and stay ahead of the curve.

Summerfest runs from June 24 to 28, and from June 30 to July 5. To really save cash, carpool to Wisconsin with your buddies and buy three-day passes for just $45.

Vans Warped Tour: Classic Traveling Punk Festival

The Vans Warped Tour is a punk festival institution. It’s ideal for students without the time or money to travel across the country as it stops at more than 40 U.S. cities from June 19 to August 8. For around $40 a ticket, depending on your location, you’ll see some of punk music’s biggest names, including We Came as Romans, Motion City Soundtrack, Simple Plan, I Killed the Prom Queen, Juliet Simms, and heaps more.

Bypass the crowds and do some good by donating three canned goods, a used cell phone, or $5 at the Express Entry flag. Backstage wristbands are also available to the first 100 ticket holders who donate blood each day.

You’ll be back in class before you know it, so make the most of your summer,and let your hair down at one of these fantastic festivals.


Today we’re continuing our mini-series about summer internships (no, it’s still not too late). This week we’ve got an extensive inforaphic on The Most-Exciting Summer Internships as a follow-up to last week’s article, 4 Tips to Help You Score a Summer Internship. Got plans for a sweet summer internship or advice for your peers still hoping to secure that perfect intern experience? Let us know in the comments or on Facebook or Twitter.

Summer Internships

The weather’s warming up, but it’s not too late to organize a summer internship. A summer internship can provide valuable workplace experience and access to industry professionals who may become great contacts in the future. So don’t delay a minute longer. The clock’s ticking, but these tips will help you find the right internship opportunity before summer arrives.

Approach Small Businesses

Small businesses tend to have less-formal internship programs, so there are often no deadlines. You’re also likely to have less competition, as students who already have their internship places often target household names.

What these eager beavers don’t realize is that small firms often provide a richer internship experience. They don’t have the same hierarchy you’ll find in big firms, so you’ll be able to interact with the C-suite and probably enjoy more responsibility and hands-on experience.

Traditional local businesses are a good start, but start-ups and non-profits may also consider taking you on for an internship.

Use Your Network

Studies show four out of five jobs are found through networking. You might think you don’t have a network yet, but you have more contacts than you realize. Your family members, your friends, your parents’ friends, your professors, your boss at your part-time job, and anyone else you know are part of your network. Talk online and offline about your desire to find a summer internship and ask whether anyone knows of any great opportunities. You might be surprised what this process unearths!

Search Through Internship Websites

We’ve all heard spending time online searching for a job isn’t the best way to find paid employment, but internships work a little differently. Many companies love the convenience of fielding applicants online, so checking out what’s advertised on reputable internship sites makes sense.

Internships.com and Internmatch.com are just a couple of the excellent internship sites online. If you’d love to give back and work for a non-profit, try Idealist.org. And if you can afford to pay for the experience of interning overseas, Global Experiences is a great resource.

Create a Resume to Impress

It can be disappointing to discover recruiters typically spend just six seconds looking over a resume. Which is why your resume needs to make the right impression within that short time frame, or it’ll end up in the trash.

You want your resume to pop, so use subheadings to make it scannable and see whether you can cull the information you present. You might be proud of winning the sophomore science fair, but a prospective employer’s likely to be less impressed. Consider the type of internship you’re seeking and tailor your resume to highlight the skills and experience you’ll need. For example, if you want to intern at a design firm, show off your design talents and create a resume with real flair.

If your school has a career center, the staff there can give you tips on how to improve your resume. This might give yours the extra polish it needs to help you land that last-minute internship.

Now that you know the tips, don’t waste a moment more. Start putting this advice into practice for your best chance of securing an internship before summer.

Like this post? Check out our Summer Internships Infographic!


slacktivism (noun)
Pronunciation: /ˈslaktəˌvizəm/
Definition of slacktivism in English:
Actions performed via the Internet in support of a political or social cause but regarded as requiring little time or involvement, e.g., signing an online petition or joining a campaign group on a social media website.
Oxford Dictionaries, Oxford University Press.

The Occupy Movement

MEANING, WHAT MEANING?

Since the #OccupyWallStreet movement began in September 2011, both the verb “to occupy” and the hashtag of #Occupy[insert_anything_you_dislike] have come to serve as euphemisms for endorsing a virtual rebellion against an organization perceived to oppress the non-elite (the 99%). To occupy something no longer means to be present within or to inhabit a certain space as protesters did in the original #OccupyWallStreet demonstrations (and as protesters have done for hundreds of years in displays of powerful social statements). In fact, “occupying” has come to mean simply being against a perceived powerful entity and demanding to overtake and change that entity from the comfort of one's smartphone and Twitter client and Facebook page. It has become a cliché that is not only devoid of meaning but actually antithetical to its original meaning and a way in which “occupiers” feel as if they are committing social-justice activism without being at all present or active (thus, “slacktivists”). The intent is good, but the work it takes in order to create meaningful institutional change is lacking and today's occupiers are deceived by technology and PR into thinking that they have committed radical acts leading to revolution. Simply put, a slightly modified hashtag does not another Arab Spring make just as purchasing the ubiquitous Che Guevara t-shirt does not dismantle capitalism (actually, it perpetuates it).

A HASHTAG IS NOT A REVOLUTION (NEITHER IS A BROWSER EXTENSION)

Such is the case with the latest #Occupy sub-cause to take to the Web: #OccupyTheBookstore, which is not a political movement rather a for-profit entrepreneurial endeavor in the form of a Google Chrome browser extension being branded as a mass act of standing up to “the man” (another cliché, this time the general stand-in for any nebulous authority/power figure — in this case, the bookstore or publisher though as with many of the #Occupy sentiments, to whom the anger should be directed is unclear). As you may have gathered, no bookstores will be actually occupied and no major changes to the deeply flawed textbook industry will result from a hashtag and a browser add-on. This is not a revolution or a movement, it is access to existing technology promoting itself by jumping on the social-justice trending bandwagon. Want to give your product attention? #OccupyIt. Even if that's in no way what you're actually doing.

CAN’T WE ALREADY DO THIS?

To be clear, entrepreneurship is a driver of innovation and a deliverer of options and the intent here (as within most #Occupy sub-causes) is a good one and it is in keeping with the spirit of increased economic fairness by decreasing the  financial burden on the 99% and narrowing the wealth gap. Pretty much the only people who don't want greater availability of cheaper textbooks for college students are textbook publishers. But this latest #Occupy stunt is not new nor is it a revolution and browser extensions that do what price-comparison websites like CampusBooks.com have been doing for nearly a decade now — showing students where to get cheap textbooks by showing those students all of their shopping options on one screen of search results — already exist. There's nothing new in #OccupyTheBookstore, it's just being repackaged and rebranded to appeal to the #Occupy generation.

IS MARKETING FOR PROFIT IN THE SPIRIT OF THE #OCCUPY MOVEMENT?

In addition to #OccupyTheBookstore piggybacking onto an already-established feel-good brand (make no mistake, #Occupy is a brand, which is ironic given its connection with Adbusters though less so when one looks at the magazine’s “Culture Shop” selling fashionable goods for the hip slacktivist ) and providing nothing that a user cannot already easily access on a single site while it, the extension is integrated within the Google Chrome browser. While we all have our preferences with regard to Web browsers and we understand that all browsers have drawbacks in terms of performance and privacy, using Chrome and Google products in general is, in essence, giving your personal information and consumer habits away to a company that uses that data to target you going forward. Does that sound like something that the original #Occupy movement stood for? Does it sound like something that is in the benefit of the 99% or does it sound like a marketing campaign that subverts the spirit of activism for the benefit of those who profit from big data and subsequent targeted efforts? Thus, it is important to ask: Is #OccupyTheBookstore taking a stand against the commercial status quo that makes more money for the elite minority or is it timely posturing to co-opt a once-cause, now-played-out meme for the benefit of the entrepreneurs behind a browser extension?

THE REAL ISSUE CANNOT BE “OCCUPIED”

The high cost of textbooks (and more largely, the issue of enormous debt taken on by students pursuing higher education) is real and it is important and it does need addressing. Tools and products such as textbook price-comparison websites, textbook rental programs, eTextbooks, and open-source textbooks are real solutions that put real pressure on the old new/used-text physical-bookstore model. Industry changes as well as legislation that supports college students and protects them from incurring lifelong student-loan debt can indeed be achieved but no one should believe that a for-profit software script and a hashtag will bring about a needed revolution.

In terms of transitions, settling into college is a major one that can be super-stressful. Not only that, on-campus life can be an environment conducive to picking up bad habits and losing sight of priorities. Getting into college and paying for college is difficult enough; now that you’re there, set yourself up to not only survive but thrive.

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There’s a lot more to textbooks than just a hefty price tag. Here’s a little history and background, some facts and stats, and of course tips and tools for saving money on textbooks.

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More than ever before, college students have greater options and opportunities for taking in (and sharing as well as creating) information and entertainment. Textbooks, note-taking, class collaboration, research, social interactions . . . it’s all available from multiple mediums and vehicles and nearly anywhere at any time. With the rise of distance-learning and with changes to textbook formats (rentals, eBooks, and customized packages) and greater interactivity in the form of cheaper more-powerful more-portable computing all happening right now, we wanted to examine the relationships between college students and technology (full info about our larger survey here). Here’s what we found.

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Technology can be a huge help in college. It can help you communicate, find information, share resources, add comfort to your dorm room, remind you of deadlines, and so much more. It can also be a huge time-suck, distraction, and temptation. There’s no doubt that you need solid technology on campus (for work and for fun) and that college students tend to be some of the most-gadgetized early adopters of new tech. Use this handy infographic to make sure you’re using technology to your advantage rather than your detriment.

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