Unfortunately for Alice Cooper, school’s just out for the summer. However, for the rest of us, that means three months of sunshine, beaches and lazy afternoons! I can already hear the waves crashing against the sand.
“But wait!” you ask. “How can I spend three whole months loitering in front of Dunkin’ Donuts and making semi-legal bonfires on the beach? Won’t I get sick of the endless sunscreen and shutter shades?” (Clearly your priorities are straighter than ours).
Fear not, for in college, summer is not just a time for mindless hours of watching T.V. and seeking out air conditioning. With a whole three months off from school, there is plenty of time for relaxation and fun, and it’s definitely important to get to the beach, or the pond, or the local movie theater with your friends. Vacations are a valuable chance to de-stress from the school year and catch up with friends and family. However, there are also productive and fun ways to spend the summer, which may not have been available to you in high school:
1) Take a summer course
Though you might groan at the idea of summer school, summer courses are a useful way to get ahead on some core requirements or take that one class you couldn’t fit into your schedule last semester. You also benefit from taking them in a lower stress, less intense environment, as most students only take one or two summer courses at a time. BU offers a wide range of courses in all of its colleges over the two summer sessions, and it is often possible to get credit for courses at a local college or university if you can’t spend the summer in Boston.
2) Take a workshop or a skill-building seminar
I have to confess, this is how I plan on spending the summer, so bear with me if I seem a little excited about it. Has there ever been that one design program you just wanted to learn to work with but could never figure out on your own? Perhaps you want to learn a bit of programming so you can design your own mobile apps? Maybe you’ve always fancied picking up a bit of casual glassblowing or ceramics? The summer is a great time to explore interests that might not net you any college credit, but could expand your capacities and knowledge as a person, and possibly even apply to your professional life. Personally, I plan on taking a two-day seminar at Massachusetts College of Art called InDesign in 2 Days, where I’ll learn to use the Adobe InDesign software to create brochures, mailings, and every other imaginable type of publication.
3) Do a Summer Internship
As perhaps the most illustrious and awe-inspiring summer occupation, the summer internship is sought after by many COM students every year. Let’s face it, summer internships are great. They offer an opportunity for you to work in the real world, getting professional experience and making contacts in your industry of choice. They may not always be paid, but the work experience and job prospects that come out of them are more than worth it. They can also give you a chance to get exposure to an industry that you may think is right for you, and figure out if that is true or not. All in all, as long as you make it very clear to your potential employer that you want to be doing real work and not just serving as a glorified barista, summer internships are one of the best ways to spend your school break.
4) Get a Job!
There’s nothing wrong with a good old-fashioned summer job! In this economy, having a little extra cash is a never a bad thing, and the summer provides a lucrative opportunity for enthusiastic students. Just make sure to start looking for summer jobs early. Late February or early March is usually about the right time.
If those can’t keep you occupied over the summer, then you require inhuman levels of entertainment. In that case, you might want to try volcano boarding, extreme trainsurfing, or mountain unicycling (Note: Boston University does not condone volcano boarding, trainsurfing, unicycling, or other insane and life-endangering sports. Participate at your own risk).
See you all next year! Enjoy the summer.