10 Ideas for Spending Your Summer in the US

After months of late nights studying, and seemingly endless exams and essays, your school year has finally drawn to a close. You’ve returned your books, packed up your dorm room, and passed in your final papers – so what’s next? With an entire summer ahead of you, there are countless opportunities for making the most of your break. Because of this, we’re sharing a list of the 10 best ways to spend your summer so that you return to school in the fall ready to tackle another year.

Work at a summer job or internship

The summer is a great time to add to your resume by working a job or an internship. Between the end of the year, and when you start school back up in the fall, you’ll have almost four full months to immerse yourself in a new work environment, learn new skills, and maybe even save some money. An internship is also a great way to determine whether you’re truly interested in particular career path post-college, and allows you to grow your business network that can lead to future jobs or opportunities.


Another great way to add to your resume — with the added bonus of doing good and contributing to your community — is by volunteering. Consider the causes that are important and meaningful to you, and then look into local organizations or non-profits that could use volunteers. This allows you to spend some of your free time during the summer in a way that can make a difference in your community.

Go to the beach or a lake

Summer weather just might be the best weather – and that’s why you should definitely plan at least one trip to the beach or to a lake over the summer. If you’re located on one of the coasts, you can head to either the Atlantic or Pacific Ocean and indulge in some fun in the sun. For those who are landlocked, consider one of the country’s Great Lakes, or even the many other lakes that offer plenty of fun water activities and ways to keep cool.

Visit a park

If lounging beachside or lakefront isn’t your thing and you want something more active, you should consider going to a national park. There are ample opportunities for picturesque hikes and camping spots, and you’ll be able to take in some of the natural beauty of the outdoors. With more than 50 national parks to choose from, you’ll certainly be able to satisfy your love of nature. Just remember that some of the parks do have some admission fees, so pack your wallet with your gear.

Attend local or community events

Cities and towns across the country take advantage of the great weather – and the increased enthusiasm for activities – by hosting community events for the public. These events range from things like carnivals for the 4th of July to outdoor movie screenings and concerts to farmer’s markets (where growers sell food and crafts). Depending on where you live, many of these events are free, which is ideal if you’re trying to have fun on a budget. You can look up local events through apps like Eventbrite or even Facebook, or consider going to the website of the town or city that you live in and looking into events.

Attend a sporting event

Even if you aren’t the biggest sports fan, going to a sporting event in the summer can be a lot of fun. There’s an incredible energy from the crowd that’s fueled by everyone supporting the home team, cheering on victories, and commiserating when the outcome is less than desirable. Whether you choose to attend the event with or without friends, you’ll certainly make more, as everyone shares team spirit.

Attend a music festival or concert

Have you ever gone to a music concert outside in the summer? Between the summer breeze and the sound of your favorite songs bringing you together with hundreds or thousands of other fans, it can be an incredible experience. See what your favorite bands or musicians are up to — or better yet, consider going to a music festival where you can see multiple artists over the course of one, two, or even three days for a truly fun sampling. There are some big festivals like Bonnaroo, Lollapalooza, or Burning Man, but if you want to keep it local, your very own city likely has some musical events happening throughout the summer also.

Try a new hobby or learn a new skill

Was there ever something you wanted to learn or try, but you just didn’t have the time to do so during the school year? With ample time during the summer, maybe it’s time to try out that new hobby or skill you’ve always been interested in learning. You’ll have plenty of time to hone your craft or progress with your new skill, and in some cases, maybe you’ll be able to add it to your resume.

Take a class

Okay, you might see this suggestion and think “I just finished taking classes!” But taking class in the summer is a great way to maintain the momentum from the school year, and also free up space in your schedule during the fall or spring for things like an internship or other classes that might be more difficult to get into. If there was a class you didn’t do as well in during the school year, you could also consider taking it again during the summer to earn a better grade, especially if you’re able to give it greater focus.

Get ahead on your syllabi

Some professors like to post their syllabi a few weeks ahead of the beginning of the fall semester – and this can be a great time to get to work early. You could start some of the class reading or do a little more research into the subject matter so you feel totally prepared for the first day of class.

How to Build a Good Relationship with Your College Roommate

You meet a lot of people when you start at university, but there is one (or sometimes two or three) in particular that can end up having the biggest impact on your life: your roommate. You share your room, your space, and essentially, your life with this person. They inhabit the space beside you for almost an entire year, and are subject to dealing with any aftermath caused by your mood, your classes, your relationships, and your life. Sometimes, you’re lucky to have a roommate with which things just work. More often though, you have to work at your relationship with your roommate in order to have a peaceful living environment. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to make living with your roommate a fun experience.

Get to know them

This one should be obvious, but you should take the time to get to know your roommate. Bonding with your roommate is important for a few reasons. First of all, getting to know your roommate helps you establish some things in common and perhaps could even provide the foundation for a friendship.

Secondly, getting to know your roommate helps you understand what matters to them – and this translates into what type of roommate they will be. If your roommate really values getting good grades and being successful in school, you might learn that they plan on spending a lot of time in the library or that they have early classes, which means they want a quiet room and they’ll go to bed early. If your roommate is involved in a lot of clubs and has an active social life, that might mean they will want to have friends over in the room or that they might be up late getting back from their activities. This allows you to understand their motivations and why they might behave the way they do. Finally, getting to know them also just allows you to feel comfortable living with them, especially given that your room should be a space where you can decompress and do what you want, without judgment.

Set ground rules

Once you’ve gotten to know your roommate, you should feel comfortable enough to discuss some guidelines and ground rules for your room. What this means is that you’ll establish some boundaries regarding what is allowed or not allowed in your room.

For example, one area to discuss might be room cleanliness and how you want to share responsibility for keeping the space neat and clean, if that’s something that’s important to you. Maybe you decide to clean the room every week or every other week, but you both should acknowledge and agree to the terms. Another area to discuss might be how many nights per week you could have visitors – or overnight visitors. If you’re uncomfortable having guests sleep over in the room, then that should be established at the beginning of the semester.

Setting these terms now ensures fewer conflicts and prevents future ones – and unpleasant conversations or confrontation – throughout the year as they come up because you can return to your original conversation. It also helps to write your roommate guidelines out, so that you can refer back to them if one of you violates them.

Address problems as they come up

When you or a roommate does break one of the rules you established earlier in the semester, address it immediately. Don’t let problems pile up without addressing them. For example, let’s say your roommate had a guest over without asking permission, violating one of your previously agreed-upon rules. Don’t wait a few days to bring it up to your roommate. At that point, it becomes less relevant and causes you to dwell on the problem, potentially making you more upset. By bringing it up quickly, you allow your roommate the opportunity to explain and apologize, and coming to a resolution.

At the same time, you should also consider whether something is worth bringing up. If your roommate breaks one of your mutually agreed-upon rules, that’s worth bringing up. However, if your roommate does something that annoys you or is unpleasant – or if he or she breaks a rule but you know there were extenuating circumstances – consider whether it’s worth addressing through a confrontation. Remember that they are a person too, and they deserve compassion and understanding just the same. Ultimately, it’s always important to communicate with your roommate, and make sure that you both understand the other’s motivations and reasons.

Make friends with other students

This might seem like a strange thing to add to this list, but expanding your circle of friends beyond your roommate will actually help your relationship with your roommate. Why is that? Well, you already live with your roommate, so they are subject to dealing with the ups and downs of your life as you do, even if you aren’t always sharing it with them. You need time with other friends to give your roommate some space. When you spend too much time with someone, you can be more likely to get into arguments or pick up on annoying habits.

By spending time with other friends, you and your roommate both get some time apart and can recharge before sharing your space again. This doesn’t mean that you and your roommate can’t spend a lot of time together – inside and outside of the room – but it just allows you both to develop fulfilling and meaningful relationships with other people who can add to your ability to be a better friend and roommate to each other.