Art by Ally Armstrong
As the school year nears the end, students can almost taste the sweetness of crossing that finish line and leaping into their hard-earned summertime of relaxation and rejuvenation. Many students will drive or fly home, rest, hang out with their family and friends and spend most, if not all, of their free time doing whatever pleases them. After all, summer break here at Pepperdine lasts for almost four months.
With that much time on their hands, students should also consider spending a part of their break doing something productive, whether it be participating in an internship, volunteering for a cause, working a part-time job, going on a study abroad program or learning a new set of skills. By spending their time wisely, students will not only gain valuable experiences and useful skills but grow academically, professionally and personally as well.
By working a part-time job or doing an internship, students will get a chance to learn more about the field of work in which they are interested and to apply the knowledge that they have learned in the classroom to real-life situations. They will also gain work experience and a wider network of connections. New graduates who have taken part in an internship program are more likely to have received a job offer than those who did not as well, according to Heather Huhman’s article published by U.S. News and World Report on April 29, 2011.
Nowadays, many organizations also offer college students a chance to participate by volunteering with them. Some of the examples of these organizations include the United Nations, American Cancer Society, Big Brothers Big Sisters of America, Habitat for Humanity, Peace Corps and American Red Cross. Besides these, students can also choose to volunteer at their local church, school or club. By volunteering, students will get a chance to learn more about the world around them as well as to give back to their communities in tangible ways.
On the other hand, students may want to try picking up a new set of skills at home, whether it be learning how to speak a new language, to skate, to knit, to paint or to play an instrument. If students wished to have a change in scenery, Pepperdine also offers study abroad programs in many different locations during the summer break. While traveling around, learning and immersing themselves in a new culture, students will be receiving credits toward graduation all at the same time.
While it is important and necessary for students to spend time resting and recharging after a long, exhausting school year, they should consider spending at least a part of their summer break engaging in something valuable as well. Students should plan to utilize these upcoming four months well so that they can gain practical experiences and grow as a student, a young professional and a person.
Don’t waste the whole summer doing nothing worthwhile. Instead, choose to spend it wisely and productively.
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