6 Things to do in the Summer while in College

By Kovida Yalamanchi on May 24, 2021

Finals are over which means that summer break is officially underway. While it is important to take time off and relax especially after a whirlwind of a semester and academic year, it is just as important to keep mentally active as well. There are plenty of ways to occupy yourself during the three-month vacation that do not necessarily have to include classwork but will definitely leave you feeling recharged come fall.

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1) Volunteer or get a job

An activity as simple as reading to the elderly at a retirement home or helping with the craft sessions at the local library will help keep you task-oriented. Instead of spending all day on the couch surfing the web, having duties and time commitments will ensure that your hours are well spent. Try looking for postings in your local libraries or asking around if anyone needs an extra pair of hands. Even if these opportunities do not pay, dedication to a task and someone to vouch for your work at the end of the three-month period will actually go a long way on a resume.

If you do want to make some money, try and get a job. While babysitting or nannying may not seem like an attractive job to put on a resume, recruiters and graduate schools actually find such jobs to be indicative of a person’s dedication and character. It does not hurt that you will be able to save up a good sum that you can spend once the fall semester rolls around.

2) Exercise or simply go outside

It can sometimes be too tempting to spend all day holed up indoors binge-watching Friends or The Office, but your body and mind will thank you for any time that you spend outside. It can be something as simple as taking a slow stroll in the neighborhood, swimming a few laps at the community pool, or riding your bike through the park. Exercise does not always have to be rigorous, instead, it is a way to take in some fresh air and stay fit in the process. There will inevitably be days when you forget or simply choose not to, but if you can keep up with some sort of simple exercise regimen throughout the summer, you will be pleasantly surprised with the results.

3) Read a book

College is a stressful time with never-ending homework assignments, midterms, and other obligations so reading may be the last activity on most students’ minds during their downtime. In the summer, when there may not be much else going on, it can be a great time to get back to being the bookworm you once were as a fourth-grader. You do not even need to read crazy long classics like The Three Musketeers or Great Expectations or any other books reminiscent of your middle school summer reading list.

Instead, pick up some old favorites like Harry Potter or The Hunger Games, and as a reward for completing these series again, you can treat yourselves to watching all of the movies. Browse the young adult section at your local library or any local bookstores to find books that may have slipped under your radar as a high schooler. Do not be afraid to step outside your comfort zone and explore new genres such as autobiographies, historical fiction, or even graphic novels. If you want to take it a step further, try and write a book review for the books you complete. You never know, come August, you may have found a new hobby.

4) Wake up early

It can be all too easy to want to sleep in till noon every day in the summer. During the semester there never seems to be much time to sleep in so summer seems like the perfect opportunity. But you would be surprised by the benefits of waking up early each day. You do not have to rise at the break of dawn, in fact, 9 o’clock is early enough if you are not a morning person. Even if you have nothing to do on a certain day, waking up early will make you feel refreshed and you may find tasks to complete as the day goes on. Having more time while the sun is out will actually give you more energy and focus, and it will help you keep up with some sort of routine and make the transition back to fall that much easier. Plus, you do not want to feel as if you slept your entire summer away…literally.

5) Tutor/mentor

The process of getting into college can be arduous and stressful. You are always looking for guidance and answers on how best to tweak your essays and how to boost your application, so once you get in you may feel the urge to put that journey behind you. Don’t. Use your knowledge and experience in that field to your advantage. There are plenty of high schoolers who are in the same boat as you once were. See if there are any students in your town who need help with college essays or who have any questions about the process. You can also apply for online paid mentoring jobs such as MyMentor where you can edit students’ essays, and help them with college interviews. You can also see if your local test prep companies like Princeton Review, Test Masters, or Kaplan are hiring so that you can tutor high school students for the SAT or ACT, such jobs also tend to pay pretty well.

6) Have fun

Last but not least, have fun! Congratulate yourself on completing the academic year and applaud all of your accomplishments. College is a very challenging time so having fun in the summer is a must. Spend time with high school friends, try and take small trips outside of your town, and find new hobbies. Even if you do all of the things mentioned in this list, make sure you enjoy doing them. The important thing is to be refreshed once classes start in August, not burnt out.

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