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.
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 http://www.internships.com
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.