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4 Ways to Make the Most of Your Summer as a Student

A young woman sits outside on a park bench working on a laptop.

This post is from a student, parent, or professional contributor. The opinions expressed by the author are their own and do not necessarily reflect the positions, viewpoints, or policies of Niche.

Congratulations! You have made it through another year of school and summer vacation has finally commenced.

The late night study sessions cramming for exams, endless amounts of assignments due at 11:59 pm, and the periodic visits to your instructor’s office hours have ended, for now.

There is nothing but clear skies, warm weather, and a lot of free time ahead for the next three months. But, if you have clicked on this article you’re probably not interested in just relaxing over the summer holiday and you want to fill up your schedule by trying to add a few things to your resume or try to get ahead for the next school year.

Summer is the perfect time for this! During this time you can explore your interests outside the classroom and attain valuable experiences as a student. Rest assured that doing so does not have to take away too much time from having fun in the sun during your summer vacation.

Here are a few ways to make the most of your summer when you’re a student.

Find a job

Work experience as a student showcases a unique side to your resume or college application while allowing you to earn a little money on the side.

Working a job can highlight your interests in a particular field of study, your responsibility and reliability as an individual, and provide you with transferable skills you can bring to your future jobs.

Balancing work during the school year can be a difficult task to manage as a student as it can result in burnout which can be prevented. The summer holiday is a great time to find work in your community without worrying about it impacting your academics or burning you out.

Visiting local pools, restaurants, and recreational centers is a great place to start looking as they usually offer part-time to full-time openings and seasonal work for their employees.

LinkedIn also provides job postings for its users based around their interests and location, so make an account and explore job postings specific to students. 

Dive into extracurricular activities

Expanding your extracurriculars during the summer is another excellent way to acquire new skills and experiences specific to your career path. In fact, many programs of study for high school and undergraduate students are specifically designed for the summer.

Schools act as pipelines to student related activities such as internships, fellowships, and programs of study. Try visiting student centers and speaking with teachers or academic advisors about any extracurriculars to get involved over the summer break.

Some extracurricular activities do require applications or recommendations in advance so plan for these opportunities early in the school year.

For high school students, various universities offer pre-college programs where you can experience the college and study with the instructors on campus or online. Look through your college list and see if the universities you’re interested in offer these programs.

4 Ways To Promote Growth This Summer

Take summer courses

Speaking of college lists, summer is also an ideal time to start brainstorming your post-graduate plans like what universities you’re interested in, your intended major, and essays. Consider also studying for the SAT/ACT during this time if you plan to add them in your college application.

Summer courses are an excellent way to continue your academics and get ahead for the school year. These classes are a common way for students to graduate early or free up their schedule during the regular school term.

Some high schools allow their students to take summer courses so they can go on to higher levels earlier, making their transcript look more competitive.

For undergraduate students, summer courses can be significantly less expensive than courses done in the fall and spring. Taking your summer classes at a local community college can also save you money but make sure that the classes you take are transferable to your college.

Speak with your academic advisors at your school before signing up. Summer courses are shorter than regular semester classes so only consider taking them if you’re willing to keep up with the fast paced environment. Ask your school if there are any summer courses available for you to take.

Plan ahead

Finally, planning your prospective courses beforehand can save you from any future course selection mishaps.

In undergraduate, general education courses can fill up quickly due to their high demand so make sure you work closely with your school counselor and understand exactly what classes you have to take in order to graduate in your major.

Looking through your course catalog right when it becomes available can give you more time to see what classes interest you. Once you know what courses you need to take for the next school year, mark your calendar!

Using a paper or digital calendar (highly recommend Google calendar), set up reminders of important school dates like move in day and first day of classes so you can be prepared for your return to the classroom.

Whether you’re spending the next three months soaking up the sun on the beach or shuffling paperwork at the internship of your dreams, make sure to find time to pat yourself on the back for a job well done.

Regardless of what obstacles you’ve faced during the school year, you successfully finished it. That is enough cause for celebration.

Consider some of these tips to add to your resume as a student during your summer vacation while you kick back and relax. Enjoy your time off as it will be over before you know it. See you in the fall!

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Author: Sophia Bangura

Virtual High School '22 read, write, repeat (in that order)!