Summer is the time for you to unwind and make memories. However, it is still possible to have fun and unwind while being productive. I like to use my summer to relax while trying to gain more experience before the fall semester starts.
For those of you who were unable to get a summer internship, that’s absolutely fine. There are so many different ways to gain experience over the summer, so not having an internship shouldn’t be the reason why you can’t have a productive summer.
One way you can be productive is through volunteer work. You can volunteer at your local homeless shelter, food bank, hospital, or retirement home. There are always local organizations looking for volunteers. You don’t have to spend your entire summer there. A few hours a day, or even just one day a week, still counts as gaining experience. Every now and then, I volunteer at my local soup kitchen called “My Brother’s Table,” and we prepare food for the homeless. This helps me gain experience in working with different types of people that I normally don’t work with. I normally work with college students because I work in higher education, so volunteering at my local soup kitchen allows me to work with people outside of a college setting. If you didn’t get an internship or clinical session for your health program, try volunteering at your local hospital or clinic. I know the clinic in my city is always looking for volunteers and this is a great way to gain experience.
If you weren’t able to get an internship in your field of study, try participating in organizations such as Big Brother Big Sister. This program matches you with a child that you will mentor. This will give you experience working with kids while building relationships with them. If being a teacher is what you want to do, or if you want to gain more experience with kids, mentoring children is a good way to start.
Join organizations that are all about giving back and helping others. The college I work for has a program that students, as well and the general public, can join to help make a difference. This program involves cleaning up the beach, cleaning up the park, fundraising for a cause, and more. There will always be an organization looking for people to join their team to help make a difference. If you want to gain experience through giving back, or if you simply want to help people, join an organization that focuses on giving back.
Another way you can stay productive is to learn a language. Learning a language is hard and you won’t become fluent in one summer, but it’s a great way to keep yourself productive. It’s also a good way to brush up on a language you’re struggling with or would like to know. I have a lot of Spanish-speaking students so I try to teach myself Spanish every now and then. I usually learn from hearing others talk so I’ll listen to Spanish music, telenovelas, or even just my friends talking! Use your summer to brush up on a language you’re struggling with, or learn a new language you’ve always wanted to learn. When you completely focus on something you really want to learn, it becomes more fun!
Stay productive by opening up a shop! Sell clothes that you no longer wear. Opening up a shop helps you stay productive, but it also gives you experience with promoting your shop, making sales, packaging your product, and shipping it out to customers. This gives you more experience with business, which is great if you are interested in owning your own business one day or want to know what it’s like to be your own boss.
Finally, another way to stay productive over the summer and gain experience is by teaching yourself something in your field of study. If you’re studying computers, try studying JAVA and HTML. If you’re studying art, try painting or drawing in a different way that you’re not used to. Teach yourself how to use a new Adobe software such as Illustrator, InDesign, or Photoshop. If you want to work with kids, volunteer to work at a camp or day care center. You can even offer to babysit family members. Teaching yourself a skill or doing something in a different way is a great way to be productive and it helps you gain experience.
Not having a summer internship isn’t the end of the world. There are so many different ways to gain experience and stay productive. Hopefully these tips will help you out. If there are other tips and tricks that you’d like to include, let us know!
My name is Linda Tran. I'm 24 years old from Boston and I'm majoring in Marketing with a concentration in Social Media at the Southern New Hampshire University. A fun fact about me is that I learned coding and HTML at the age of 11.