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Off for the Summer? Make the Best of Your Break with These 12 Tips

written by OLIVIA WETTENGEL

April 23, 2024

Some people love summer break; others–not so much. Whichever side you’re on, making the best of your newfound free time between semesters is vital to your success as a college student. Make sure you don’t waste your summer days away with these twelve ideas to make the best of your hiatus from your studies.
1. Get an Internship
Experience tends to be the number one thing companies look for in a college grad’s resume! Internships are just the thing to get you the experience you need to set your job application apart from the rest. Most universities have resources for connecting students to internship offers. In your major’s building, look for bulletin boards with job postings. Better yet, go to your school’s online career center to find openings and apply for your favs right then and there! Linked below are some universities’ internship openings pages:
Doesn’t matter if you’re a freshman or a senior! Internships enhance any student’s college experience. Make plans today to secure your spot at your dream job.
2. Work a Side Job
If you’re like most college students, you probably run on ramen and try to catch rides with friends to avoid paying for gas. Your summer break is the perfect time to make some extra money and stock up for the year of classes ahead! Find a job that is related to your field of study, and if not, whatever sounds fun to you! If you’ve dreamt of working at Chick-fil-A since you were 12, then now’s your chance!
3. Do Some Research
If you’re applying for medical school, props to you! (Couldn’t be me 😅) As you probably already know, med schools love to see research experience on your applications. When you’re not up to your nose in titration problems or trying to memorize every amino acid, take the summer to work with your favorite professor on laboratory research. It will give you exciting hands-on opportunities to witness what you’re learning about in the real world.
4. Network, Network, Network
If you want a job straight out of graduation, you better get social! Networking is key in getting to know prominent figures in your industry. The more people you know, the better chance you have at landing a job. LinkedIn is a convenient way to do this. As you optimize your LinkedIn profile, you will stand out to employers and increase your chances of landing a job sooner.
5. Study Abroad
What better way to spend the summer than on vacation? Even better–kill two birds with one stone and get some credits while you’re at it! If wandering the streets of Paris or trekking the lengths of the Great Wall of China sounds like your kind of summer, then consult with your university’s Center for International Studies and pack your bags. ✈️
6. Serve Your Community

Grad schools love a charitable, selfless applicant. Summer is the perfect time to reach out and participate in community service and volunteer work. Aside from building your resume, service provides opportunities for you to love your neighbor and make a difference in your community. Find opportunities to serve in your area here!

7. Be a Tutor
Studies show that the best way to learn something is by teaching it to others. While tutoring elementary school students may not cover Astrophysics or Biomedical Engineering, it does keep your brain in check. Talk to your local elementary schools to find tutoring programs you can take part in. This tip especially applies to Elementary Education majors–for you, this can double as your summer internship!
8. Make a Workout Plan
Have you been itching to get your heart pumping, but could never find the time between classes to work out? Now’s your chance! Make a workout plan for each week and stick to it. Use this workout plan once you’re back in school to maintain those good habits!

9. Create a Budget

One of the best ways to avoid 24/7 ramen next semester is by creating a budget to stick to.Find a budget template you can customize according to your circumstances. Do the planning now so you can save and spend wisely later!

10. Start Meal Prepping

Let’s see, what’s another thing that got put on the back burner while you were in school? Probably your meals. Planning meals is another thing you can do ahead of time to make your next semester easy, happy, and tasty. Reference our article here to make your meal prep plans this summer and eat like a king next semester.

11. Build a Class Plan
If you haven’t already, build a class plan with all the classes you will take until you graduate. With this registration-ready plan, all you have to do when registering for classes is pull up your list and add the classes you included for that semester. Easy-peasy!
12. Keep Your Brain in Check

Make sure you keep those juices flowing by exercising your brain, as well as your body. When you’re not in school, work your brain by learning a language (Duolingo never fails to remind you about your daily dose of language study), learning a new instrument, reading a good book, or even participating in a brain training program. The Elevate app provides daily brain games to play, in school or not!

We know–that was a lot. Doing all of these activities during your break would be hasty, to say the least. Pick your favorites (whatever’s best for you and your career), and plan, play, & work away for a successful summer! H.A.G.S.!