Summer! How to help your future!

Summer is here for college students across the country. Freshman are returning home for the first time in what seems like ages, sophomores and juniors might be getting internships and jobs, and seniors are putting on their caps and gowns to walk across the stage to their first real peak of adulthood. With the summer sun and finals being over, it is easy to see summer as a time to just relax or work a part time job to save up for the school year. Both of those things are really important but there are so many ways to make your summer more productive. No matter if you have already been offered a post graduation job, have the perfect internship, or have no plans at all, these tips will help you to have a more well rounded summer and help with your resume if you need it.

1. Volunteer. This is first for a reason. Volunteering helps everyone involved. It makes you, the volunteer, have an enriching experience where you learn about the world in a deeper way and you can use it to help build your resume. It helps the organization you are volunteering for because they are able to make their community better. Bonus, if you volunteer in your potential future field you can learn a job skill. It doesn't have to be exactly what you want to do but an overlapping interest will show your dedication to the field. I cannot recommend volunteering enough.

2. Self reflect. It's summer and you have time off. Check in with what you've been studying, where you've been working, and what you've been spending your time in college doing. If there are some areas you want to change or activities you want to do more often, take this time to set those goals. It's easy to get caught in a slump and not even know if it's what you want to do, be active with checking in with yourself. Let this break be a time to reset and create positive change for yourself.

3. Search for future jobs. After that wonderful self reflection you've done, start looking to see what building blocks you need to get where you want to go. Start looking for people whose careers you want and see what they did. You can look for entry level jobs and see what qualifications are needed. Doing this early will help! You'll have more time to gain skills and have experiences that prepare you for your future career.

4. Travel somewhere new. Take a weekend, or a week, or a month, and go somewhere new. If you're on a budget and don't have much time go to a new beach or lake for a weekend with your friends. If you can, go to a whole new country. Take time to explore and learn about the world outside of what you've experienced.

5. Read. Speaking of the outside world, read a book this summer. Or a lot more. Reading is a way to keep our brains active and engaged while being entertained or learning something new. You could read a book that will help your career or mental health or finances, or you can take time to lose yourself in a thriller. Sit outside and read a book during your down time.

6.Build your universe. Try out a networking opportunity. Rub elbows with people in your potential future field and learn if it's something that you'll like. I spent the summer after my sophomore year talking to everyone I could about an specific organization and now I am going to work there when I graduate. It can be really, really helpful. Check out the blog for tips and tricks on networking, mentors, and more.

7. Enjoy. It's summer! We only have so many left in our life. Take this time to enjoy the warm weather and time off school! Spend time with family and old friends if you can.

Congratulations to all of the recent grads and good luck with your future careers! You're going to do great! To everyone else have a wonderful summer and don't forget to enjoy it!

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