Summer is finally here! As the school year draws to a close, it's time for days spent laying poolside, guilt-free Netflix binges, and spontaneous summer flings. While it is definitely important to take plenty of time to relax, don't forget that summer is also a great time to take advantage of opportunities you can't manage during the school year.
Have fun and better yourself with one (or more!) of the 10 ways to be productive on summer break listed below. Beat summer laziness and get going - they're guaranteed to make you more productive!
1. Learn a New Skill
Whether you've always wanted to master playing the guitar or want to further yourself professionally, summer is a great time to learn a new skill.
For all of those career-focused ladies out there, I highly recommend that you learn the basics of HTML/CSS coding. This skill is becoming increasingly important and, with websites like SkillCrush, you can quickly and easily learn to code for free. This small time investment can give you the edge you need when looking for a job or internship, and make you a valuable employee.
Of course, learning how to code is just one of a myriad of options. Think about your goals and desires, then utilize your newfound free time to master a skill that will bring you one step closer to making them a reality.
2. Expand Your Social Media Presence
No, I'm not saying that you should post more selfies on Instagram. Social media presence is becoming more and more vital to securing a job with potential employers. Googling yourself shows you what image employers are presented with when they investigate your online presence.
Set aside some time to clean up your profiles on various social media platforms, adjust your privacy settings, and get rid of anything that doesn't present you in an accurate or flattering light. Take this one step further and use social media to actively engage with employers and professionals in your industry.
Demonstrating a consistent interest and sharing meaningful content with employers is a great way to use social media to capture their attention in a positive way. This article offers some helpful advice on how to get started!
3. Do Something You've Been Putting Off
You've always wanted to start a blog, keep a journal, take up yoga, etc., but you're too busy. NOW is the time to accomplish those goals that seem to be stuck perpetually in the future because other responsibilities always seem to take precedence.
4. Get Healthy
There are so many fun and creative ways to get fit during summertime. Not everyone is a fan of logging hours at the gym, but a bike ride through a beautiful park or a hiking trip with your best pals? Suddenly exercise doesn't seem so bad. Take advantage of the sunny weather and stay active.
5. Make the Most of Your Personal Network
Take some time to think about people in your life who can serve as important contacts for you, and reach out to them. Setting up informational interviews, whether it's formal at the office or casual at a coffee shop, allows you to gain valuable insight and form meaningful relationships.
If you're feeling especially ambitious, reach out to professionals outside of your circle and try to expand your network. You may think that someone won't give you the time of day, but you'd be surprised how far a little effort can go. Besides, what have you got to lose?
6. Intern at a Start-Up
While the majority of formal summer internship programs have passed their deadlines for application, there are still several start-ups that can use the extra help. Working at a start-up is valuable - it oftentimes allows you to take on much greater levels of responsibility and have a bigger impact than you could at a larger company.
For help finding internships, in general, I suggest using a site like InternMatch or utilizing your school's career development office. It's not too late!
7. Make Money
Take on a part-time job, be a nanny, or do some freelance writing. Without all of the academic demands that you are faced with the majority of the year, summer is the perfect time to earn some extra cash, which will make the rest of your year a little easier.
Giving back not only has a huge impact on improving the lives of others, but is also an opportunity to meet important contacts that can help you when you're looking for a job or opportunity. And, of course, there is something incredibly satisfying and humbling about helping others.
During the hustle and bustle of the school year, it's easy to forget to be grateful for the little things. Remind yourself how fortunate you are and make a difference by volunteering for a cause that you are passionate about.
Am I seriously telling you that, after an entire year of reading (okay, skimming) textbook after textbook, you should spend your summer reading, too? Yes! Stick with me here.
The wonderful part about summer is that what you read is entirely up to you. It doesn't matter if it's The New York Times, a hot romance novel, or a Shakespearean play. Keep your mind sharp and remind yourself what it's like to read something that you actually like. It'll make the transition from summer to back-to-school a lot easier!
10. Do Something Spontaneous
My final challenge to you this summer is to do something spontaneous! Say yes to that spur of the moment road trip, go talk to the cutie you've been eyeing at the pool, or try something new. Summer comes with a sense of freedom and adventure that the rest of the year lacks, so don't waste it.
What do you think?
How are you making the most of this summer? Will you be trying any of these activities? Let me know in the comments below!