Once students begin college, their summers will change. Gone are the summers of taking it easy. Summers become a time for students’ continual development. You may really want to have your son/daughter home in the summer, but this could hurt their development as professionals. Here are some thoughts on what students should be doing in their summers.
Summers Between Freshman and Sophomore Years
■ Take courses to get caught up or get ahead. Most campuses offer on-line courses students can take in the summer. Students can also take courses at a local college and transfer those courses back to their home institution. This is also a good time to take courses for minor.
■ Get a job. Most students need a job to make money for college, but no matter their circumstances, students need some work experience on their resume. Almost any job can be related to a student’s intended major.
■ Shadow someone in the student’s chosen major. Summer is a good time to find out more information on a major. Ask your student to find someone who they can shadow for a day or a week to get the feel for what professionals do in their major.
Summer Between Sophomore and Junior Years
■ Obtain an internship. Students should take advantage of campus career fairs and if students make the effort, they can find an internship. Often these internships will lead to full-time jobs.
■ Take on a volunteer assignment. Students might have an opportunity to make a contribution to society by undertaking as assignment as a volunteer. These experiences can be very rewarding both personally and professionally.
■ Take classes. Again students take classes to get caught up, get ahead, or fulfill a minor. During this summer, these courses will probably need to be on-line since students will be away from campus or working during normal class times.
Summer Between your Junior and Senior Years
■ Obtain an internship. See the comment above. Students really need to make the effort to gain some experience in their major before they graduate.
■ Work on a research project. Students should talk with faculty in their major to see if they can support them on a research project. Students will be paid to do this, and this is a great way to test out whether graduate school is for them.
■ Take on a volunteer assignment. See the comment above. A volunteer assignment can be especially good if students want to demonstrate a commitment to their future profession for prospective graduate and professional schools.
■ Take classes. This summer is critical for students getting in position to graduate on time.
As you can see from each of these, summer is a time for students to continue their overall development as a person, and as professionals. .