Your college campus might feel like a ghost town during the summer, especially if all your friends have left. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. There are fewer students around, sure, but there are still places to go and things to do. Here are just a few ways you can make the most of your time on campus this summer.

Focus on Your Goals

Look at it this way: Fewer social events mean fewer distractions, which in turn makes it easier for you to focus on your long-term goals. If you’re taking a class, you don’t need to deal with the stress of a full course load. Aim for a higher grade than you normally would. Are you working full time? Decide how much money you can reasonably earn this summer, and pick up extra shifts when you get the chance.

If you’re going to school as well as working, you may find it more practical simply to find the right balance. Are you not working or studying? Consider applying for an internship, a summer job, or a volunteer job that relates to your area of study.

Make a Bucket List

Working towards a goal is important and everything, but you don’t want to burn yourself out. Make a list of things you’ve wanted to do throughout the school year but didn’t have a chance to do. For example, there may be attractions or restaurants in the city you never had time to check out. Now is the time to visit them. Is your dorm room or apartment in need of a makeover? Check out decoration ideas on Pinterest, and get started on your new project.

Other bucket list items could include trying a new hobby, such as mountain biking, photography, or cooking. There are plenty of activities that are cheap or free. For example, you can learn how to build your own website just by reading (or watching) do-it-yourself guides online. Would you rather spend time outside? Geocaching keeps you active and entertained.

Focus on Your Health

With more free time than usual, you don’t need to settle for a packet or ramen noodles for dinner. There are plenty of easy, healthy recipes you can make, no matter how big (or nonexistent) your kitchen is. Taco salad, homemade microwave lasagna, and overnight oats are just a few options that will help you ignore that KD box in the back of the cupboard.

Another perk of staying on campus during the summer is that it’s easier to make use of on-campus facilities because fewer students are using them. Stop by the gym or go for a swim in the pool, and enjoy the extra space. If you haven’t had your annual physical exam this year, schedule an appointment at the health center before it gets booked up.

These are just a few ways you can make the most of your summer on campus. The key is to get out there and keep busy. Doing so will not only make the months more enjoyable, but it will also give you something fun to talk about when your friends come back in the fall.

Summer break is here, and hopefully you’re dreaming of hot, sunny beach weather and all the fun things you can do with your new college buddies. But consider the summer a time for self-improvement, not just for fun. Whether you choose a job, internship, travel, summer courses, or volunteering, you’ll come back to school next year just a little bit smarter and more ready for the professional world.

Save-Up with a Summer Job

A summer job probably doesn’t sound like the most fun thing to do with all that time off you get during the break, but the financial and professional gains are highly beneficial.

Even if you’re only working at a local shop, you’ll get experience in how the professional world works and you’ll likely get experience dealing with the public. You’ll also make money which can be spending money for your next year at college.

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Maybe your summer job could even be to start that side-hustle you dreamed up in your entrepreneurship class. That might not make you a lot of money, but you’ll certainly gain a lot of business savvy.

Level-Up with a Summer Internship

A summer internship is a great way to get a leg-up in your future industry. There’s a lot to learn about the professional world that’s difficult to get from college classes. A summer internship could also help you decide what you want your major to be, or if you’ve chosen the right major for you.

If you’re lucky, a summer internship will even be paid. A paid internship can help offset the costs of not living at home for the summer or build-up your spending money for the following school year.   A great resource for college internships is

Refresh Yourself with Summer Travel

A summer vacation will sound very nice after your finals. And you deserve it! When making summer travel plans, consider how to also get some professional or life-experience benefits from the trip.

If you’re headed to New York, maybe schedule a meeting with the advertising firm you’d love to work for. If you’re going abroad, soak in as much culture as you can; it will change you more than you know.

Help Others with Volunteer Hours

If you’re not sure what you want to do over the summer and haven’t made any plans, consider donating your time. Giving back to your community and volunteering can have professional benefits, look good on your résumé, and be very emotionally rewarding.

A volunteer position with some organizations can also give you professional insight into how non-profits function.

Get-Ahead with Summer Classes

We know this might sound terrible: you just finished a class, so you probably don’t want to take another. But, taking summer classes can put you ahead of the game in college. Summer classes help students to graduate on time and to save a little money. Consider taking online or community college classes during the summer.

It might seem a long way away, but the school year will be over before you know it. It’s time to get your summer plans in order.