Summer plans are a major source of excitement and stress for college students; it's a chance to gain valuable work experience, but many freshmen have difficulty finding internships because they haven't had time to gain experience in their desired field. If you find yourself in this situation, however, there are still plenty of things to do with your summer that are rewarding and will prepare you for the future.
1. Find a job.
Having a job over the summer is a great way to make some money to spend throughout the school year — your textbooks aren't going to pay for themselves — and if the job you find is in a field you want to go into, you'll gain experience that'll be helpful in future applications.
Volunteering is a very rewarding experience and is also great for bolstering applications because it shows your commitment to a cause even if you aren't receiving monetary compensation. Find a cause that you're passionate about and research volunteer opportunities in your area; it's a great experience.
If you have the means to do so, traveling is a great way to spend your summer. Not only is it a great way to relax, it can also help you expand your horizons and learn more about the world.
4. Take summer classes.
The summer is a great opportunity to take care of any course requirements you don't want to deal with during the year. This is a good idea especially if you have a lot of general education requirements that you want to get out of the way.
5. Spend time with your family.
If you end up with intense internships for the next few summers, you likely won't have much time with your friends and family. Take the opportunity to spend some time with the people in your life before you head off into the real world.
6. Learn a new skill.
A great way to build your resume is to gain a new skill that'll be applicable to a work environment. Take the summer to start learning a new language or a new computer software system.
If you have the chance to do so, research is a great way to gain experience and build relationships with professors, who can go on to write recommendation letters for you. It's also a chance to learn a ton more about a topic you're interested in.
Even if you can't snag an internship your freshman year, you still have the chance to do something productive. Don't compare yourself to what others are doing; everyone has different paths towards success.
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