Top Ten Things to do on Summer Break

Summer Reading

photo by Gregory Urquiaga/UC Davis

Finals are in full swing and that means that the sweet freedom of summer break is right around the corner. No doubt many students are looking forward to a reprieve from the rigors of college courses and extracurriculars but many may fall victim to summer slide. So before you succumb to the couch and power-marathons of Arrested Development consider doing these 10 awesome things recommended by fellow students:

1. Read a good book, or ten! Summer reading can help train you to be a life-long learner and you may even find that it’s fun. Summer reading will exercise your imagination, expand your vocabulary, hone your retention skills, and broaden your interests. Be sure to include books from all genres: novels, poetry, biography, history, memoir, and scientific analysis.

2. Work in an internship relevant to your career choice. A summer internship is the best way to learn about your field of study from a real-world perspective. You’ll get to apply the knowledge you’ve learned in the classroom, gain work experience, make connections with professionals in your field, and make new friends. Working a summer internship is one of the most important things you can do during your school career.

3. Learn a new skill.  Whether it’s cooking, gardening, or fixing on old car, learning a new skill puts you outside of your comfort zone and gives you the opportunity to explore how you learn. You’ll be free to expose your naiveté, to be candid about it and ask questions freely, and to remember the excitement of curiosity that comes with being new to everything. Plus, you’ll benefit from being able to do something new!

4. Mentor younger students. You’ll be helping other students while honing the knowledge you learned during the school year. Being a mentor is also a great opportunity to oversee and guide others, helping develop your leadership skills. Sharing your knowledge and experience can be empowering and lead to increased confidence and self-esteem.

5. Spend quality time with your family. You probably don’t get to see your family much during the school year so don’t miss out on the opportunity to spend quality time with them during the summer. Fun things to do with your family can range from running a 5k to cooking Sunday dinner and these activities will lead to great bonding experiences.

6. Budget travel. Take a road trip around California, visit a major city and stay in a hostel or go camping on the coast. Whatever you do you will undoubtedly learn something about the world and yourself. Getting exposure to new cultures and terrains will expand your knowledge and give you the opportunity to make new friends. Most importantly you will hone a spontaneous sense of adventure, inspire creativity, and have fun!

7. Reunite with old friends. While at college you have no doubt met a lot of new people and made many new friends but it is just as important to nurture the friendships you already had. You share a great amount of history and shared experiences with your old friends which make them valuable life-long relationships to maintain.

8. Volunteer in your community. Volunteering has an immediate positive impact on your community but it also provides motivation, the achievement of goals, and a sense of pride. Providing your time and skills not only improves the lives of others, it makes you a better, more well-rounded person. Plus, you will be more appealing to employers who generally pick a candidate with volunteering experience over one without.

9. Go outside. Exploring the great outdoors is healthy and invigorating! Join a hiking meetup or plan day trips with friends to new places. Take time this summer to get some sunshine and fresh air, be active and clear your mind by getting away from daily stresses.

10. Rest, realax, and have fun! It has been a long year and you deserve to unwind and recharge!

Be sure to share your plans for summer break in the comments section!

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