Ah, June is here. Summer is all but upon us, and for most college students, summer vacation is already here. If you’re anything like I was back in my undergrad days, I can guess that you’re planning to spend most of the summer resting and relaxing, enjoying the time you have been this semester and the next. It’s quite a tempting option, I understand.
But as I noted last summer, there are options for what you can do with your summer free time, other than simply resting. It might not be as relaxing, that is certainly true, but things like taking an internship or a summer college course could add quite a boost to your resume upon finishing your educational career (and could possibly cut down the time until you finish said education). It’s also a great time to work on some side goals, if you happen to have those.
What sort of side goals, you ask? Well, you could try to teach yourself something while waiting for classes to officially begin; this is exactly the sort of thing I suggested at the end of my list last year. You can learn all kinds of new things with just a few uninterrupted months, and that’s exactly what you’ll have with a summer break. Just what sort of thing could you learn during this break? Well, let’s look at:
Some Important Things to Learn This Summer
1. Swimming: It’s summer and learning to swim is an obvious way to spend your time. If you’re going to spend any time around water (or flying over water, or near a water supply, or…you get the picture, it’s hard to get away from water completely), you’re going to need to learn how to swim. In most situations, the best way to learn is simply to find a local pool and get a lesson or two, so that’s probably your best bet. Although, a trip to the beach or two could be nice…
2 Cooking: If you’re college age (or beyond), it’s important to know how to cook. I’m not saying you need to be able to make four-star, three course meals that can get you on The Next Food Network Star; that’s more than you really need. You should be able to make some basic meals, though, enough that you can feed yourself for a week or two with standard cooking supplies and access to some basic food.
3. Computer Programming/Coding: If you’re a computer science major, this is likely old-hat, but if you aren’t, you might never have been forced to learn it before. Increasingly, though, being able to do at least some computer programming is vital for just about everyone. A few weeks during your downtime this summer could help you do all kinds of amazing computer tasks this coming year, and beyond.
4. A Foreign Language: Yes, I know, I include this in just about every ‘things to learn’ list I write; foreign languages are my top suggestion for new things to learn. You probably won’t completely master a new language in two months unless you devote every waking hour to the task (and probably not even then), but becoming at least moderately conversational in a new language would be pretty awesome. There’s a lot of techniques out there, so find something that works for you and get out to learn some new languages.
5. Speed Reading: Reading is important to everyone, everywhere, doing just about everything. The faster you can read, the more information you can absorb in a given period of time. Being able to speed read (or at least, increase your reading speed, however much that happens to be) is thus a pretty helpful skill. It can be hard to master, I’ll speak from experience, but the more you can get the techniques down, the better it’ll help you out.