February 23, 2024

Start planning now for a productive summer, earn or learn


This archived article was written by: Alex Herzog

We just returned from spring break and the end of the semester is just five weeks away. That’s right, just five weeks. Some of you will be graduating and others will return this fall. But what are your plans for the summer? Here are three things to do this summer that will keep you busy but also add to your resume.
First, get to work. The summer is a great time to find a job to work and earn some income. If you can’t find full-time work, find a couple of part-time jobs. Don’t be too picky about the kinds of work you will do. You might miss out on some pretty cool jobs if you wait too long. Remember, you will not only compete with other college students but as you wait, you will also be competing with high school students. While the work may not be in your field, the work experience is valuable. Keep a journal of your experiences. Take note of what you find to be good managerial techniques and things that are just wrong. You can use these entries as interview material and examples when you interview in future years.
Second, look to intern or volunteer in a field you might have an interest in exploring. If you are working full-time you may not have time for this, but if you aren’t working full-time you should do this. While you aren’t getting paid the experiences and skills you will gain could be valuable later. In addition, the networking with those in the field will pay off later when you graduate with your degree. Be sure to ask for a letter of reference at the end of your service.
Third, if you aren’t working, interning or volunteering you need to keep learning. Hit the local library and read and expand your mind. Take the time to read the classics or perhaps start learning about an area you’ve have an interest but never the time to spend to learn it. A residual benefit is that most libraries are air-conditioned which is a nice respite from the summer heat.
There is some evidence that college students who do nothing over the summer lose some academic skills. For instance, if math is your nemesis, you should keep up your math skills. Google math problems to work on or look to the Khan Academy (free online college classes www.khanacademy.org) for a summer class that will keep your skills up in a particular area.
However, the key to a successful productive summer experience is to start planning now. Talk with relatives and family friends about possible opportunities for work. They may have good leads and connections. If you can’t earn, learn. Don’t waste your summer.
If you get a job, please make a budget and save, save, save. The best way to do that is to get a savings account and forgo the debit card or find a trusted family member to hold on to your money. This will make it harder for you to spend that hard earned cash.
Finally, my last piece of advice is to take some time to have some fun. After a year of college classes, roommates and term papers you have earned a little down time. I recommend you check in with your local tourism office or go online and search out things to do in your area. There are tons of free activities all over Utah and you don’t have to look far to find them.
Good luck and have a great summer. We will see you back on campus this fall!
For more advice on college visit www.adviceoncollege.com.