Now that summer has officially begun, many college students are using the semester break for some much needed R&R.
While there is nothing wrong with taking a break after a taxing semester, you could use some of that down time to get a jump-start on your career, or your studies, while your peers are idle.
Here are 5 ways you can make your summer break work for you.
Photo Courtesy of Fisher College.
1. Make Your Halo Shine.
Volunteering is not just a way to give back to your community. It is also a great way to build out your resume. Finding the right opportunity can help with networking, learning new skills, and working in—or alongside—professionals in your field of study.
According to a recent U.S. News and World Report, volunteerism for undergrads is now more important than ever in helping to separate applicants in the career and collegiate worlds. Applicants with similar qualifications are often separated by the amount of altruism they display during their courses of study.
For volunteer opportunities in the Boston area, check out sites like VolunteerMatch.org or BostonCares.org.
Photo Courtesy of Fickr.
2. Learn a new skill.
Just because school isn’t in regular session, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be learning as much as you can. Think about something you’ve always wanted to do, or know, and take a class on it.
Local non-profits like the Boston Center for Adult Education offer free or low-cost courses for everything from language to music.
Diversifying your skills and interest make you a much more attractive candidate to potential employers and graduate schools alike.
As with volunteerism, travel could mean the difference between you landing a job after college and you ending up back in your parents’ place. Many employers favorably view the perspective of a well-traveled employee.
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Many, if not most, schools offer study abroad programs of which you can take advantage.
Few activities expand perspectives, engender creativity, and keep the mind active like reading. Consuming classic and contemporary literary works is vital to the academic progress of students.
There are several summertime reading lists available online that will give you a good idea of where to start.
5. Apply for scholarships.
As we’re all aware, the cost of higher education is high and expected to rise. Unless you’re among the lucky few with full-ride scholarships, or wealthy and altruistic family members, you need some type of financial help for your education.
While many students rely mostly on student loans to shoulder the brunt of their educational expenses, each year there are millions in unclaimed scholarships.
From essay contests, to organization-based scholarships, there is money available to help cut those skyrocketing tuition bills. Using your time off this summer to apply to these scholarships will pay dividends in the short and long term.
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