So you’ve settled into summer now that school’s been out for a couple weeks; but it’s not a great idea to do nothing over the summer — as tempting as that may be. So how do you make the most of your summer beyond the traditional internship or summer job?
We’ve got some ideas for you that will help you keep your skills sharp while also exposing you to new things — and some that will help expand your resume.
Take A Creative Class
You’ve had your nose in books all semester working hard on your major. Maybe this summer is a good time to explore your creative side! Most communities host a community art center that offers classes in everything from jewelry making to ceramics to painting or photography and more. It’s a great way to keep learning over the summer without feeling the pressure of grades or deadlines. Also, employers today are looking for creative thinkers — and doing creative work can also help you learn.
Join a MOOC
Have you heard of MOOCs? They are “Massive Open Online Courses” that are generally free and focus on small, specific elements of skills such as coding, nutrition, geography, or even learning a new language. If you have an area of interest you haven’t had the chance to explore while at college, a MOOC can let you do that on your own terms, online. These are a valuable resource and a great list of free MOOCs to explore can be found here. Alison Manley, VP of Business and Technology here at League, is a huge fan of MOOCs. “Whether it’s something directly related to my job function at League or something like this class that is just interesting and can help me grow personally, I am a huge fan of continuous learning,” she tells us.
Launch a Website or Blog
Want to work on something this summer that you can put on your resume? Consider building your own website and/or blog, and spend your summer creating content for the blog. This is a great way to keep up your writing chops as well as let you explore other things such as photography or video creation. It’s simple to set up a free blog or website, and it can be a great learning experience. You can learn more about how blogs can help you after you graduate in this great article on Stanford’s College Success blog.
Be a Tutor
Many parents hire a tutor for the summer to help their children avoid the dreaded summer “slide” in learning that happens when they aren’t practicing their skills daily. Being a tutor is not only a great way to earn money but can also help you keep your own skills sharp. Not only will you be able to help someone understand various subjects, but you’ll be able to head back into the fall semester knowing your stuff. In fact, tutoring is one of the best part-time college jobs you can have (other than working for League, that is!).
Explore Local Events and Talks
Local business people often present talks or workshops that are likely relevant to your major or post-college aspirations. Why not enjoy a few of these presentations to get an “on the ground” perspective from people out there doing the work you want to do? Take a look at the event listings of local groups such as the Chamber of Commerce to find potential events (our Social Media person Cecily Kellogg met her first boss at a local networking event!). Another great idea is to check out the events calendar of any co-working space in your area, and don’t forget to look at the events in your local paper as well.
Try a New Form of Exercise
You definitely want to stay in shape over the summer, so why not try something new when it comes to working out? Maybe do a long bike trip, or take up hiking, or join a spinning class at the gym. You can even go far afield and take a hula hooping or belly dancing class. Not every muscle you need to build is in your brain; take care of your body too!
Read for Fun
After a long year of hitting the books, it can be hard to pick up yet another over the summer months. So instead of grabbing the latest book by a guru that’s relevant to your major, pick up a book that’s fun to read. Think beach books instead of text books. Now, if you choose to read something that’s pertinent to your major, more power to you! Here’s a great list of 25 books every college student should read.
As you can see, there is plenty to do that will fill your summer with fun as well as keeping your brain ready to step back into learning mode. Go forth and enjoy!