8 Tips to Make the Most of Your Summer

Summer is quickly headed your way. Hopefully your summer plans expand beyond sleeping until noon, video games, and social networks. Just in case you don’t have any substantial summer plans, here are eight tips to make the most of your summer:

1. Visit colleges

If you will be applying to colleges this coming year, now is the perfect time to make some campus visits. Schedule a tour with schools or visit open houses so you can hear about the best features and descriptions of student life. You will be able to see first-hand if you like each campus, and narrow down your application list by eliminating the ones you don’t like.

2. Get experience

Mow lawns in your neighborhood, babysit the neighbor’s kids, or become a host/hostess at an outdoor restaurant. Lots of seasonal businesses (landscaping, ice cream shops, bike/fishing/surf rentals) are looking for summer help. If you’re looking to expand your resume, then find an internship to gain some valuable skills toward your future career. Summer is also a great time to do some volunteer work. Search for summer camp programs, city cleanup groups, and other places to donate your time.

3. Preview classes

The world is at your fingertips with this magical thing we call the internet. Websites like Khan Academy, Academic Earth, and Coursera offer free online classes and videos across a wide range of topics and majors. If you know what your class schedule is for the fall, preview a few videos from those classes before school starts. You’ll build a knowledge base and feel more confident with subject matter when those classes begin.

4. Get active

Grab your roller blades, bike, skateboard, or soccer ball, and get outside. Throw a football at the beach or swim a few laps in the pool. The fresh air is good for you, and the activity will make you feel great.

5. Take a roadtrip

Gather a few friends, pick a destination (beach, theme park, etc.), and pack the trunk with some essentials and you’re on your way! A day trip is an easy way to add a little extra fun to your summer without breaking the bank.

6. Read the newspaper

Reading the “Trending Articles” on Facebook is not the same as reading the news. Stay informed by reading your local newspaper or visiting your favorite online news portal (mine are the NY Times and TIME). Keeping up on current events is an easy way to stay connected to the world (rather than your couch or pillow).

7. Update your resume

If you’ve already completed an internship or related work experience, take some time to update (or create) your resume with those skills and tasks. Use descriptive action verbs when explaining what you were responsible for. You might not be using the resume for a year or more, but having a working draft is the best way to keep it current.

8. Use your brain

Play a strategy game, brain teaser, or perform other mental tasks to keep your brain working this summer. It’s a great time to relax and get some rest, but your brain needs to stay in shape so it transitions back to studying and learning smoothly in the fall.

Do you have any great summer ideas to add to our list?

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