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10 Ways College Students Can Use Their Summer Wisely
July 11, 2016 - Posted toStudying
Here Comes Summer …
At last - that horrible, long, dreadful year is over, and it is summertime - a vacation from teachers, examiners, professors and the whole college scene. It may be tempting to hit the beach or chill somewhere equally mindless and relaxing - but - is that really the best use of your precious downtime?
We are going to suggest a few alternatives which will leave you feeling much more fulfilled and useful about your time out. Not all will appeal - but all will have an enormous impact on your outlook and get you some “Brownie points” on your CV or resume when you come to get a job or need to make an impression.
“Bummed around on the beach for two months” doesn’t really cut it, does it?
Let’s Go Fishing Every Day!
It’s a drag, we know, but part of that “becoming an adult / growing up” process is knowing when to party and when to get down to some productive stuff. Here is a list of 10 things that you should be looking at if you want to have a summer which you will remember - for all the right reasons:
- This is horrendous - but - you could always get a job! Yes - a job!
- Lots of businesses and industries not only rely on summer help but can give you a valuable insight into how the workplace functions and invaluable experience. It can point you in the right direction - or it can give you a heads-up as to realising that you didn’t actually want to do, what you thought you did, or, that your dream job would never actually work. This alone could save you years of frustration and heartache - and you’ll get paid to discover what does, and doesn’t work.
- Closely allied with the suggestion above is that of obtaining an internship.
- This is where you join the workforce of a company as an unpaid, or expenses paid, “junior,” to work alongside seasoned members of staff - some of whom act as mentors, and are responsible for familiarising the intern with the company, the workplace, the customers, and clients. It is a great way to discover the nuts and bolts that make up the infrastructure and running of a business or institution.
- College visits and orientations are a good distraction from the rigours of vacations.
- On these, you can investigate the workings and reputations of the colleges and universities that you want to apply to, or are just looking at out of curiosity. Many have open days or familiarisation courses which aim to show student life, both within the academic world and outside of it - sports and research play a huge part in college life - not to mention the social scene on most campuses.
- Serving the community, in some meaningful capacity, has long been a favourite summer preference for many students wanting to both broaden their horizons and ease their social conscience.
- There are many organisations and charities which welcome summer students with open arms to help with numerous projects and initiatives. Some of these are overseas, and they are cheap alternatives to expensive vacations in some of the most exotic and breathtaking locations in the world. You get to meet some amazing people and see sights and sounds that “outsiders” do not often get the chance to experience.
- Organising your own project is something any student can do. If you have a innovative idea, an invention, a conservation or charity project or a local community task that you feel needs sorting out - now is the time to get stuck in and to do it.
- Many organisations are more than happy to receive initiatives and welcome, with open arms, volunteers - especially younger people who are often perceived as having no social conscience or awareness. Such projects inspire others, and you can gain great kudos by promoting and starting such schemes. From litter picking to building beehives and taking underprivileged kids on a day out - the world is waiting for you …
- Take some extra classes. Now, we know that this is not going to be the most popular suggestion out there! Why would you want to spend your free time back in school?
- Well, the subjects don’t have to be pure school subjects. For instance, you may have been following the recent space station or satellite news and want to find out more about astronomy or engineering. This is a perfect example of something which you may find yourself becoming interested in even though it has no “space” in the school curriculum. There are a whole range of subjects taught in summer schools; from photography through to mountain climbing, canoeing, and surfing.
- Get fit. An ever increasing number of students are either obese - or a little overweight. What better time could there be, than the summer vacation, to exercise and shed those surplus pounds. There are a wealth of ways to enable students to enrol and participate in exciting and fun physical activities in a range of sports and hobbies.
- These can range from soccer and athletics to climbing and swimming, tennis and cycling, to name but a few. There are plenty of opportunities to explore the job prospects in these sports and to look for ways to make a career out of such activities.
- For those who are more sedentary in their time off of school, there is always reading.
- Aspiring writers and journalists have always regarded reading as a part of their craft. Rather like artists who paint in the style of a particular painter until they “discover” their own style, writers are often influenced by the writing of specific authors and, again, follow their voices - until they find their own.
- Use the opportunity of those precious weeks off to read as much as possible, and to explore authors that you may not have had time to read, in the ordinary course of events. You may find a completely new direction.
- Start your college applications early.
- Preparation is always the key to successful college applications, so being able to take your time and to put together all the information that you might need to acquire is time well spent and will enable you to do lots of honing and editing instead of trying to rush everything through.
- Editing is always the key here - get lots of feedback from friends and family and keep going over, and over your application until it is perfect.
- Don’t forget to enjoy yourself. Your vacation is precious and is a time to wind down and enjoy yourself - don’t forget to do just that as well as whatever else you choose to do …
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