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.