It’s March and exams are right around the corner. You’re up late looking over notes for the 5th time, you have coffee pumping through your veins, and you debate whether showers are still necessary. You go to your unassigned, assigned seats in the library and you crack open your laptop to start. You open Spotify first and get your study jam goin’, you take 15 mins trying to arrange your table to make it look like you’ve been there all night. The only thing going through your head is what will you do first: camping or beach?
That’s right, the summer list. Whether you’re off academically this summer or you’re taking classes, we all have something we plan to do with the beautiful warm and sunny days.
How do you maximize your summer without the guilt of slacking off? Here is my list of things to do for the summer to maximize your growth, professionally, as s student and personally.
- Do nothing.
Make sure you have dedicated time to do nothing. That’s the time you set for yourself where you will do, nothing. For some, it’s sleeping in late and for others, it’s to binge a whole season on Netflix. Whatever it is, know that it’s perfectly acceptable and encouraged. A little “me” time is what you need to recharge.
Don’t get carried away with all the “free” time that you have. Set a time where you can plan what you want to do this summer: vacation, class times, volunteering, sports, family, and friends. Whatever it is you normally have planned or do have lined up. Know when you have enough time do to everything you want to do. Check out my other blog post on managing time.
If you’re looking to earn some extra $$$, find a summer job. The best would be to start at any job where you can start using your degree. There are plenty of summer jobs posted through your school’s career site, and labs you may be able to work at for the summer. Use your network and ask profs if they need any help.
If you are unable to find a paid job relevant to your degree, find a volunteer position. This may lead to a paid position but until then, you are still gaining experience. This is more valuable for you when you are investing in your career. As a student, your priority is to start using what you learned ASAP. This will make it easier when you are trying to find a job after graduation.
5. Fast track classes
This may not be possible for everyone as classes can be limited to certain semesters or the additional financial strain of paying tuition in the summer may be too much. If you can, taking 1 or 2 courses in the summer can lighten your load in your later years where classes tend to get more challenging and time consuming, or allow you to graduate a semester early. Taking extra classes can also go towards a minor or a certificate if you had decided to complete one. Be careful when taking classes in the “off” semesters, know your limit to prevent burnout.
6. Be active
Join a sports league, take group classes, go for a hike, up to you. Being active will give you balance. Your body can support you through tough weeks during midterms and exams. It can carry you through intense application and screening. Take care of it. Being active can help you practice multi-tasking and coordination. Both of which are needed to successfully perform your job duties in your career. Participating in team sports such as softball or jujitsu can help you think faster in times of stress.While taking dance classes can help with coordination. Whatever you decide, physical activity can help round you out.
7. Reaffirm Your Priorities
You had a reason to pick your field of study. You had a reason you picked certain classes, certain jobs, certain activities. I hope that, like me, you decided to choose these items. Use this time to reaffirm to yourself why. Why did you take a BSc? Why this school? Why this job? Why trades? Reminding yourself will help align your decisions and keep your goal clear. If you realize that what you’re doing is not for you, it is best to identify this now and to constantly reevaluate your wants. Please speak to your academic advisor on the best route for your scenario.
You’re supposed to be studying. Get back at it and good luck!