Using your summer to find a job, internship, or take a summer class are great alternatives to getting sunburnt and being hungover. (Photoillustration by H. Margaret Slye)
It is the end of the academic year and many students are excited for the year to come to an end. Summer is right around the corner and sleep, partying and just being lazy is most likely on everybody’s mind.
Take a break. Relax. Do what you need to do to take a breather, be it cleaning your room or spending time with family. However, as much as we want to encourage a summer of relaxation, the three-month break also serves as a great time to get ahead in not only your school and work but in your life.
In a society where getting into college and finding a job is getting increasingly competitive, using your summer to find a job, internship or take a summer class are great alternatives to getting sunburnt and being hungover.
“One of the things that universities are looking at when students want to transfer is how much volunteer work they do in the community, school, children and church,” said Irvine Valley College counselor Bill Hewitt. “That has become more and more of one of the factors considered for transfer schools.”
Volunteering is a valuable thing for many reasons. Not only does it look great on college applications, it can give you job experience even before you begin to look at internships in your major.
Places looking for volunteers include homeless shelters, food banks, beach clean up foundations, and local schools, including Saddleback and Irvine Valley College.
“Many students on campus suffer with English,” Hewitt said. “I always encourage students to go volunteer at the learning center on campus.”
If you are having trouble finding volunteer work in your field of study, the counselors are there to help give you ideas to what you can do.
Internships are also high up on our list of productive summer activites. Even though many big name companies have already stopped accepting applications for summer 2013, there are still many options available.
A great place to start your internship search is right on campus, the Career Center. There is a career center at both Saddleback and Irvine Valley College that offer help in creating your resume and cover letter.
“Internships are also helpful in showing you what you may like or not like to do as an ultimate career choice,” said Malia Vago, a fashion instructor at Saddleback. “No internship is a waste of time when exploring career choices.”
If volunteer work or internships are not something you want to do, taking on a part-time or full-time job also helps build your resume.
The IVC and Saddleback career centers have created their respective websites to help students search for jobs in their field of study.
Another alternative to a summer filled with lethargy and lack of fulfillment is taking a summer course. Hewitt strongly suggests taking a class in a subject matter that you do well in, so as to not have important concepts lost in a summer haze.
Taking summer courses is also an excellent opportunity to accumulate necessary units, especially for students looking to transfer. Further, some students may enjoy and get some satisfaction out of taking a class that they are genuinely interested in. Students may find fulfillment in a day well spent over a day spent lounging in the dim glow of the television screen. Registration for summer classes has been available since April, and courses begin on June 10.
Athough there should be some allocated time to relax and enjoy the summer, and time spent being unproductive isn’t necessarily time wasted, doing nothing 100 percent of the time isn’t enjoyable or uplifting.
This summer, do yourself a favor and spend time exploring your interests, career opportunities, and doing something for others. It could prove to be just as rewarding as having a drink on the beach.