Summer is right around the corner and students have various plans for it ranging from activities such as traveling, learning a new skill, taking up summer jobs, or even enrolling in a course at the university. But what should a student actually do in the summer? It depends on a couple of factors, such as the current semester they are currently in. A freshman or a first-semester grad student can look to relax a bit in the summer and maybe travel around the United States to gain some exposure to the local culture. They can also learn a skill that will be beneficial to the program they enrolled in and later on in their professional career as well. Summers can either be wasted just by relaxing completely, or by staying on your feet constantly using the four months to gain knowledge and add accomplishments.
A student pursuing later semesters in their program should look towards internship opportunities as this vastly enhances one’s resume to a point where, upon completion of their program, the student stands out of the pack and automatically becomes a preferable choice to landing a job right out of school as employers know the difficulty in being able to score a relevant internship while balancing education. In terms of international students, the same things apply, but until the completion of two semesters on their visa, they are not eligible for an internship. But, they can take up an on-campus summer job to gain experience in one of the departments of the campus. This not only increases the value of their resume, but also allows these students to make some good money over the summer period while learning about the mechanics and schematics of the department they choose to work with.
Another suggestion for international students who are not taking up a summer job or summer course is to return to their home countries as the next semester can get pretty hectic and they may not find the time to make a trip and spend well deserved time with their loved ones. This is a common pattern observed among international students who join during the spring and are left without many options in the summer and can best use that time to relax back in their home countries.
As for students who are graduating, the summer is an extremely important period where job hunting begins. But, speaking from experience, it is advisable to take a month or two to relax and compose oneself before entering the professional realm; it is challenging, and students will have just completed their program and the burnout can be real if one does not know how to recognize it. If the student proceeds to directly land a job and continues with it under that burnt state, they would potentially face an issue where they are not able to perform to the best of their ability.
At the end of the day, summer break is a fantastic season where students can use it to the best whether it be to gain mental relaxation or go on to do activities, either way, it is a truly fun period with plenty of time to focus on extra-curricular activities. Classes will not be taking place, which leaves time for students to get truly involved in externally beneficial activities. This benefit could be for the student themselves or for the community, and this break gives students the opportunity to replenish their brain juices until school reopens in the fall.