Yayyyyy!!!! For many college students on quarters, the term is about a month away from being finished. Students on semesters are either already finished with their spring term, or very close. Make way for summer and a break from school! However, if you are a college student not taking summer classes, the Summer break can feel like a giant abyss. Below are some tips to make the most of your summer away from school.
Sell back your textbooks:
If you are a college student, you are likely poor. A nice way to get some quick cash is to sell back your text books. You can do this by going to your school’s bookstore soon after you have finished finals, and sell them back. When you do this you usually get back around half of what you paid if you bought your books through the bookstore. Another method is to sell your books through a website such as Amazon. You can potentially get more money for your books this way, but shipping them can be a hassle. Tip: unless you have heard that you will need one of your textbooks again, sell them. Doing otherwise is just keeping things you don’t really need, and will become outdated.
Reflect on your term and your final grades:
When you finish a term in college, you can feel pretty burned out from finals. You may feel (especially if you did poorly in a class) that you want to put as much space between you and school as possible. This is totally fair. After your last final, give yourself a couple days to not think about school. After those couple of days, it is time to asses how the term went. Think about the things that worked well for you. Perhaps you did a really good job keeping a planner, and that helped you stay organized. Maybe you had a professor who had a teaching style that work well for you. Over the summer, consider ways that you could replicate these successes. Although it can be painful, it is also important to examine the areas that you didn’t do as well, or had failures. Maybe you failed a class. Consider what factors led to that F, and what you could do to avoid that in the future.
Work on your resume and cover letter.
You will need a resume and cover letter for applying to summer jobs, and chances are you gained experience over your last couple of terms at school that you want to add on your resume. These could be experiences such as a change in major, an award you received, a certificate you earned, a job you worked on campus, or a volunteer experience you had. Now that your time isn’t being filled with classes and homework, you really have time to polish and perfect your resume and cover letter.
Ask for letters of recommendation.
Your professors and mentors that you may have connected with during the last term probably also have a little bit of a break now too. If you felt like a mentor or professor got to know you well enough, ask them for a general letter of recommendation that you could keep for applying to future jobs. Remember: write the person who writes you a recommendation a thank you card!
Relax and enjoy time with your family.
You are away from your family the majority of the year when you are slaving away at school. Coming home to family can present some stressors, but it is important to navigate those stressors by keeping in mind that you are on a break from school, and family time can be fun!
Establish a healthy routine.
Now that the structure of classes and extracurriculars are not a part of your daily routine, it can quickly become far too easy to sleep until noon. It can be easy to eat whatever is convenient in the parent’s fridge and spend the day watching soaps. It sounds cliché, but if you’re not careful, it can happen to you! You may not need to wake up as early as you did for class, but continue to set an alarm that you wake up to in the morning. Also, schedule time for yourself when you are exercising, and time when you are doing a hobby.
Get a job:
Now is the time to work. For most, the point of going to college is to gain the tools needed to become independent from parents, specifically financially. Getting a summer job (although many may seem menial) is a great way to practice this independence that you are trying to cultivate. Also, summer jobs are excellent for having something to put on your resume, and make professional references. Imagine after you are finished with college, and are looking for a job. You need something on a resume. A summer job is great for having spending money, which you can save and use while you are back at school. Finally, what else are you doing with your time over summer?