For many students, a summer job is the only way to make decent money while in school, and also helps fund savings accounts, textbook funds, and more. But with the economy slipping and employers cutting all non-essential positions, students without degrees and with limited availability may find themselves leaving campus without a job. There are ways to avoid spending the summer doing nothing, though, even without a job.
If you can’t find a job, consider doing volunteer work. Volunteerism not only looks good on a resume, but is intensely rewarding and can help you network with contacts in your intended career field. For students who have set goals in mind, volunteer work can also supplement what you learn in class by showing you how theory actually applies in the real world. Look in your immediate area first for charities, such as shelters, Goodwill, the Salvation Army, and others. A good website to find volunteer opportunities and other ways to help out charities is www.volunteerguide.org.
Study abroad is always a great way to fill your summer and opens up a world of possibilities for anyone. If you have a few weeks and some savings, you can backpack or road trip, with or without friends/family members. Traveling just to party and booze doesn’t give you the same benefits, though ‘” look for travel opportunities that will expose you to new cultures, new horizons, new experiences, and new people.
Consider Taking Extra Classes
If you can afford it or get financial aid, consider picking up an extra course or two during the summer. Most summer courses last for only a month, so you won’t spend your whole summer stuck inside writing papers. Taking a summer class can give you an opportunity to try out new electives or get ahead in your major, bringing graduation day even closer. If you can’t pay tuition to get actual credits, consider auditing the class, or taking classes at a local community college or learning center. Many have short hobby classes, certificate courses, and more for fairly low fees, and you may find something new to add to your resume, your skill list, or just for fun.
Pick Up A Hobby
Summertime is the perfect time to devote to non-academic hobbies and interests. Hone your surfing skills, dive into your pleasure reading list, plant a garden, visit a museum, go fishing, paint, draw, whatever. Find ways to get out and keep your mind stimulated without overloading it.
Chances are, you’ve already got the list of textbooks you’ll need for the fall semester. Why not get ahead and start reading them now? Knock out a few chapters while you’re doing nothing, and you’ll have extra time to study or relax when school starts back up. Just remember to take a few notes on what you’ve read, so that you don’t forget it by the time class starts again.
If you’re a college student facing a long summer with no job and no plans, consider these ideas to keep you going through the next three months.